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Coral present the ultimate football counties study

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | May 23, 2016

Coral’s football counties study

  • Surprise dearth of keepers for Merseyside
  • Six Yorkshire stars in England’s prelim Euro 2016 squad
  • Greater London only squad with established past and present PL players
  • Cheshire claim five past and present Man Utd players
  • Five West Ham names in Essex squad
  • Greater Manchester and Lancashire lack talent of years gone by

Check out which stars made your region’s XI in our map

Going by former Yorkshire cricket rules, where players only born within the county borders could represent them, Coral have come up with teams for each English region featuring current footballers that would be eligible.

Spanish territories such as Catalonia and the Basque Country regularly organise unofficial friendlies against each other and even nations, so why not in England too where passion runs high in all areas of the land?

From Bedfordshire to Yorkshire, and even lesser footballing regions such as Isle of Wight, Cornwall and Herefordshire, we’ve found starting XIs and squads for all but two ceremonial counties (City of London – which is within Greater London – and Rutland).

Coral counties map inset

Coral have merged all four Yorkshires (North, East Riding, South and West) as one as well as Sussex (East and West), meaning in total our study consists of 42 teams. We have ranked their population and area size out of 44 territories, though, to include City of London and Rutland.

We think that inter-county clashes should take place in future, either during international breaks or during the summer. Other British regions in Europe such as Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey and Gibraltar all have their own national teams too, so would be ideal opposition as well.

So, find out how your county compares to others in England, and see which can boast the best (and worst) current crop of players…

Click onto our map here

Bedfordshire

UK-Bedfordshire flag

Goalkeepers: Kelvin Davis (Southampton), Simon Eastwood (Blackburn), Dean Brill (Inverness)

Defenders: Darnell Furlong (QPR, on loan to Cambridge), Leon Barnett (Wigan), Greg Taylor (Cambridge), Frankie Musonda (Luton), Shane Blackett (Dunstable), Charlie I’Anson (Valencia), Sam Westley (VVV-Venlo)

Midfielders: Lewis Baker (Chelsea, on loan to Vitesse), Michael Cain (Leicester), Stuart Sinclair (Bristol R), Keith Keane (Cambridge, on loan to Stevenage), Ali Coote (Dundee Utd)

Forwards: Daniel Powell (MK Dons), Jonathan Edwards (Peterborough), Calvin Andrew (Rochdale), Keshi Anderson (Crystal Palace), Shaun Jeffers (Yeovil)

4-3-3
GK: Kelvin Davis (Southampton)
RB: Darnell Furlong (QPR, on loan to Cambridge United)
CB: Leon Barnett (Wigan Athletic)
CB: Charlie I’Anson (Valencia)
LB: Greg Taylor (Cambridge United)
CM: Lewis Baker (Chelsea, on loan to Vitesse Arnhem)
CM: Keith Keane (Cambridge United)
CM: Michael Cain (Leicester City)
RW: Daniel Powell (MK Dons)
ST: Calvin Andrew (Rochdale)
LW: Keshi Anderson (Crystal Palace)

Valencia defender makes Bedfordshire team

Population: 645k (33rd)
Area (square miles): 477 (37th)
England internationals in XI: 0

Soccer - FA Cup - Third Round - Southampton v Burnley - St Mary's

As the 41st smallest ceremonial county in England and home to almost 650k people, Bedfordshire’s most famous footballer of recent times is diminutive striker Andy Johnson, who came second to Arsenal icon Thierry Henry in the Premier League scoring charts in 2004/05.

Capped eight times for England, ‘AJ’, as Crystal Palace adoringly referred to him, was infamously played on the wing by ill-fated boss Steve McClaren during the failed Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. Enough history, though; what about Bedfordshire’s current players?

There’s a blend of youth and experience. The spine of this county side is made up of veteran quartet Kelvin Davis, Leon Barnett, Keith Keane and Calvin Andrew.

Around them is a sprinkling of precocious youth, most notably in midfield where Chelsea academy product Lewis Baker and Leicester’s Michael Cain, who will have to do an awful lot to live up to his famous name, operate.

A little-known centre back, Charlie I’Anson, who made the unusual journey from Grimsby Town to Valencia, also makes the side. He is yet to make a senior appearance for Gary Neville’s former outfit, though.

Berkshire

Berkshire flag

Goalkeepers: Jamie Ashdown (retired), Simon Locke (free agent)

Defenders: Jake Cooper (Reading), Luke O’Neill (Southend), Matt Partridge (Newport), Darnell Fisher (Celtic, on loan to St Johnstone), Sam Tillen (FH)

Midfielders: Liam Bridcutt (Sunderland, on loan to Leeds), Ben Gladwin (QPR, on loan to Bristol C), Sam Hutchinson (Sheff Weds), James Henry (Wolves), Jed Wallace (Millwall), Tom Soares (Bury), Harry Anderson (Peterborough), Anton Rodgers (Swindon), Marvin Bartley (Hibs), Josh Parker (Red Star)

Forwards: Charlie Austin (Southampton), Simon Cox (Reading), Stuart Beavon (Burton), Nathan Tyson (Doncaster)

4-4-2
GK: Jamie Ashdown (retired)
RB: Luke O’Neill (Southend United)
CB: Jake Cooper (Reading)
CB: Matt Partridge (Newport County)
LB: Darnell Fisher (Celtic, on loan to St Johnstone)
RW: James Henry (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
CM: Sam Hutchinson (Sheffield Wednesday)
CM: Liam Bridcutt (Sunderland, on loan to Leeds United)
LW: Nathan Tyson (Doncaster Rovers)
ST: Charlie Austin (Southampton)
ST: Simon Cox (Reading)

England call-up and Ireland international up front for Berkshire

Population: 885k (23rd)
Area (square miles): 487 (36th)
England internationals in XI: 0

Charlie Austin File Photo

With care for around 885k souls, the county of Berkshire is ranked 41st in terms of size and has the 10th highest population density in England.

Berkshire’s engine room has a Chelsea academy flavour to it with Sam Hutchinson and Liam Bridcutt, who has a Scotland cap, beginning their careers at Stamford Bridge.

There is also a strong former Swindon Town contingent with strike pairing Charlie Austin and Republic of Ireland international Simon Cox, who both once plied their trade at the County Ground.

They are joined by substitute midfielder Ben Gladwin (QPR, now on loan at Bristol City) – a scorer for the Robins in the 2015 League One play-offs – and current Swindon player Anton Rodgers, the son of ex-Liverpool boss Brendan.

Also on the bench are Tom Soares, who played Premier League football for both Crystal Palace and Stoke City, and centre forward Stuart Beavon, who helped Burton Albion get promoted to the Championship.

Bristol

Bristol-emblem flag

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Ryan Clarke (Northampton)

Defenders: Scott Golbourne (Bristol C), Lloyd James (Orient), Gary Warren (Inverness), Matt Hill (Tranmere)

Midfielders: Bobby Reid (Bristol C), Joe Bryan (Bristol C), Ollie Clarke (Bristol R), Chris Lines (Bristol R), Ryan Harley (Exeter), Tommy Doherty (free agent)

Forwards: Jamie Cureton (Dag & Red), Reuben Reid (Plymouth)

3-5-2
GK: Jack Butland (Stoke City)
CB: Gary Warren (Inverness Caledonian Thistle)
CB: Matt Hill (Tranmere Rovers)
CB: Scott Golbourne (Bristol City)
RM: Lloyd James (Leyton Orient)
CM: Chris Lines (Bristol Rovers)
CM: Ryan Harley (Exeter City)
CM: Ollie Clarke (Bristol Rovers)
LM: Joe Bryan (Bristol City)
ST: Jamie Cureton (Dagenham and Redbridge)
ST: Reuben Reid (Plymouth Argyle)

Sole Premier League star features in Bristol’s starting line-up

Population: 440k (39th)
Area (square miles): 42 (43rd)
England internationals in XI: 1

England v France - International Friendly - Wembley Stadium

Metropolitan area Bristol is home to more than 1m people with over 440k inhabitants within the city limits. The City of London apart, no area of Britain is smaller than Bristol, which has the second highest population density.

Goalie Jack Butland is by far the most high-profile player in the Bristol XI, as the sole England international and Premier League representative.

While veteran Matt Hill, who made two top-flight appearances for Wolves, holds the defence together, four of the XI come from either of the city’s two clubs.

Representing Rovers are midfield duo Ollie Clarke and Chris Lines, who has had two spells with the Pirates. From Bristol City red, meanwhile, come left-footed duo Scott Golbourne and Joe Bryan.

At 40, striker Jamie Cureton is one of the oldest outfield players still going.​

Buckinghamshire

2000px-County_Flag_of_Buckinghamshire flag

Goalkeepers: Matt Ingram (QPR)

Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Leicester), George Baldock (MK Dons), Emmerson Boyce (Blackpool), Sam Ricketts (Coventry), Adam Chicksen (Brighton, on loan to Gillingham), James Clarke (Bristol R)

Midfielders: Jake Gray (Crystal Palace, on loan to Hartlepool), Dele Alli (Spurs), Matt Phillips (QPR), Liam Kelly (Oldham), Sam Togwell (Barnet), Mark Randall (Barnet), Harry Forrester (Rangers), Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff, on loan to Leeds)

Forwards: Sam Baldock (Brighton), George Williams (Fulham, on loan to Gillingham), Robert Hall (Bolton, on loan to MK Dons), Simon Church (MK Dons, on loan to Aberdeen)

4-4-2
GK: Matt Ingram (QPR)
RB: George Baldock (MK Dons)
CB: Emmerson Boyce (Blackpool)
CB: Sam Ricketts (Coventry City)
LB: Ben Chilwell (Leicester City)
RW: Matt Phillips (QPR)
CM: Dele Alli (Tottenham)
CM: Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff City, on loan to Leeds United)
LW: George Williams (Fulham, on loan to Gillingham)
ST: Simon Church (MK Dons, on loan to Aberdeen)
ST: Sam Baldock (Brighton and Hove Albion)

England’s brightest prospect in heart of Buckinghamshire midfield

Population: 780k (27th)
Area (square miles): 723 (30th)
England internationals in XI: 1

Soccer - UEFA Euro 2016 - Qualifying - Group E - England v Estonia - Wembley Stadium

Like one of Buckinghamshire’s major towns Milton Keynes, the best footballers in the county are certainly young and up-and-coming, with England’s next big thing Dele Alli of Spurs the star attraction and one of a few players who was brought through the MK Dons academy.

Alongside him in the team is fellow talented teenager and Leicester City left back Ben Chilwell, and other starlets under the age of 24 George Baldock, Tom Adeyemi, George Williams and new QPR keeper Matt Ingram.

At centre half, versatile mid-30s defenders Emmerson Boyce and Wales half-centurion Sam Ricketts provide far more experience to the XI, while fellow Dragon Simon Church, Baldock’s older brother Sam and Scotland winger Matt Phillips are certainly established in attack.

As for cover on the bench, former graduates of current Premier League clubs Arsenal, Aston Villa and West Ham United – Mark Randall, Harry Forrester and Robert Hall respectively – certainly provide decent options. But with just over a 780k population, that is not unsurprising.

Buckinghamshire is also known for sporting venues Silverstone and the Eton Dorney lake that hosted rowing at the 2012 Summer Olympics, while Pinewood Film Studios is also in the region.

The county’s royal sounding name is no coincidence either, as it was the Duke of Buckingham who had the famous Palace in London built for him in 1703. While, his last predecessor even tried to connect a straight Roman-style road from his residence back then, Stowe House (now a school), to Buckingham Palace. It failed miserably, as he ran out of finances at a nearby town, but at least it was called Buckingham.

Cambridgeshire

Cambridge flag

Goalkeepers: John Ruddy (Norwich), Luke Steele (Panathinaikos) Nick Pope (Charlton)

Defenders: Todd Kane (Chelsea, on loan to NEC), Andrew Fox (Peterborough), Josh Coulson (Cambridge), Tom Miller (Carlisle), Ben Nunn (Boreham), Carl Piergianni (Boston)

Midfielders: Teddy Bishop (Ipswich), Liam O’Neil (Chesterfield), Luke Berry (Cambridge), Matt Oakley (Exeter)

Forwards: Izzy Brown (Chelsea, on loan to Vitesse), Alex Revell (MK Dons), Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Chesterfield), Carlton Morris (Norwich, on loan to Hamilton)

4-3-3
GK: John Ruddy (Norwich City)
RB: Todd Kane (Chelsea, on loan to NEC)
CB: Josh Coulson (Cambridge United)
CB: Tom Miller (Carlisle United)
LB: Andrew Fox (Peterborough)
DM: Liam O’Neil (Chesterfield)
CM: Luke Berry (Cambridge United)
CM: Matt Oakley (Exeter)
FW: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Chesterfield)
ST: Alex Revell (MK Dons)
FW: Izzy Brown (Chelsea, on loan to Vitesse Arnhem)

Cambridgeshire possess just one current Premier League player in XI

Population: 830k (26th)
Area (square miles): 1,309 (16th)
England internationals in XI: 1

Soccer - International Friendly - England v Germany - England Training Session - London Colney

Cambridgeshire may only have produced one current Premier League player, Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy, but 38-year-old Matt Oakley spent many years in the English top-flight with Southampton and Derby County in his early career. While, Chelsea youngsters Todd Kane and Izzy Brown are out on loan in the Netherlands.

Two of the XI have stayed native to their county, as centre back Josh Coulson and captain Luke Berry have played for Cambridge United for all of their careers to date, bar a one-season spell at Barnsley for the latter.

Striker Alex Revell and former Manchester United youth player Sylvan Ebanks-Blake provide experience in attack, to compliment the youth and pace of Brown.

With a population of just under 850k and high up on the list in terms of area, it might be surprising that the region does not have any higher-profile players to pick from, but what do you expect from a county more renown for its intelligence?

Cheshire

2000px-Cheshire_Flag flag

Goalkeepers: Ben Amos (Bolton), Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders: Matthew Pennington (Everton), Ryan Shawcross (Stoke), James Chester (West Brom), Tommy Smith (Huddersfield), Tommy Smith (Ipswich), Danny Fox (Nottingham Forest), Jack Robinson (QPR), Danny Collins (Rotherham), Richard Dorman (SJK)

Midfielders: Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa), Jesse Lingard (Man Utd), Nick Powell (Man Utd), Josh Brownhill (Preston, on loan to Barnsley), Callum Reilly (Burton), Luke Murphy (Leeds)

Forwards: Peter Crouch (Stoke), Aaron Wilbraham (Bristol), Nicky Maynard (MK Dons), Devante Cole (Fleetwood), Max Clayton (Bolton), Antonio Pedroza (Herediano)

4-4-2 (diamond)
GK: Tom Heaton (Burnley)
RB: Tommy Smith (Huddersfield Town)
CB: Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)
CB: James Chester (West Bromwich Albion)
LB: Danny Fox (Nottingham Forest)
DM: Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa)
CM: Luke Murphy (Leeds United)
CM: Nick Powell (Manchester United)
AM: Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
ST: Peter Crouch (Stoke City)
ST: Nicky Maynard (MK Dons)

Cheshire claim five past and present Man Utd players in their team

Population: 1.04m (18th)
Area (square miles): 905 (25th)
England internationals in XI: 2

Britain England France Soccer

Cheshire borders just below famous footballing counties Merseyside and Greater Manchester on the map and, although dwarves them in size, has a fewer population with just over 1m.

It has, however, also produced its own crop of top talent over the years too, most notably Michael Owen, and if they were to combine as one today, they’d have many experienced players to pick from both the Premier League and Championship.

We’ve reunited three former Crewe Alexandra academy products Ashley Westwood, Nick Powell and Luke Murphy in a three-man midfield, while another ex-Railwayman Nicky Maynard starts up front. Max Clayton and Ipswich Town’s Tommy Smith have to settle for a place on the bench, though.

One Tommy Smith does make the team, however – the duo are not to be confused with a former Liverpool defender and ex-Watford attacker by the same name – as Huddersfield Town’s 23-year-old gets in at right back. There would no doubt be chants of “there’s only two Tommy Smiths” at Cheshire matches. Nottingham Forest’s Danny Fox just edged out the other on the other side of defence, meanwhile.

There is also a big Manchester United connection from the county, with current Red Devils squad players Jesse Lingard and Powell in our line-up, while England Euro 2016 call-up keeper Tom Heaton, and centre backs Ryan Shawcross and James Chester also spent time on their books.

Cornwall

Flag_of_Cornwall flag

Goalkeepers: Christian Walton (Brighton), Ollie Chenoweth (Truro)

Defenders: Jack Stephens (Southampton, on loan to Coventry), Craig Alcock (Doncaster), Scot Bennett (Notts C), Ryan Dickson (Yeovil), John Disney (Connah’s Quay)

Midfielders: Jordan Copp (Weymouth), Mark Jones (WaiBOP), Saul Halpin (Wellington), Matthew Etherington (retired)

Forwards: Jared Sims (Truro)

4-3-3
GK: Christian Walton (Brighton and Hove Albion)
RB: John Disney (Connah’s Quay Nomads)
CB: Craig Alcock (Doncaster Rovers)
CB: Scot Bennett (Notts County)
LB: Ryan Dickson (Yeovil Town)
DM: Jack Stephens (Southampton, on loan to Coventry)
CM: Jordan Copp (Weymouth)
AM: Saul Halpin (Wellington)
RW: Matthew Etherington (retired)
ST: Jared Sims (Truro City)
LW: Mark Jones (WaiBOP)

Only five Football League representatives in Cornwall crop

Population: 545k (36th)
Area (square miles): 1,376 (13th)
England internationals in XI: 0

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Stoke City v Norwich City - Britannia Stadium

Being a highly passionate region and even with its own language, much like Catalonia or the Basque Country in Spain, Cornwall actually have their own representative team unlike most others on this list.

However, with a population bigger than only eight other ceremonial counties in England, despite its relatively large size, it is perhaps understandable why their are so few professionals to pick from.

By far the county’s strong point is in defence, as Craig Alcock, Jack Stephens, Scot Bennett and Ryan Dickson are the only ones, other than young keeper Christian Walton, currently playing in the football league.

We’ve even had to drag former Stoke City winger Matthew Etherington out of retirement to make an XI, while the wonderfully named John Disney from Welsh side Connah’s Quay Nomads, and New Zealand-based duo Mark Jones and Saul Halpin have also been drafted in.

Jared Sims and Ollie Chenoweth, from Cornish club Truro, start up front and on the bench respectively, meanwhile.

Cumbria

Cumbria

Goalkeepers: Scott Carson (Derby), Adam Collin (Rotherham, on loan to Aberdeen)

Defenders: Paul Huntington (Preston), Ben Davies (Preston, on loan to Newport), Danny Grainger (Carlisle), Patrick Brough (Carlisle, on loan to Lincoln), Niall Cowperthwaite (Barrow)

Midfielders: Kyle Dempsey (Huddersfield), Connor Hammell (Carlisle, on loan to Penrith), Garry Thompson (Wycombe), David Symington (Barrow), Connor Tinnion (free agent)

Forwards: Glenn Murray (Bournemouth), Jack Ryan (Preston), Steven Rigg (Carlisle, on loan to Barrow), Jason Walker (Barrow), Grant Holt (Rochdale)

4-4-2
GK: Scott Carson (Derby County)
RB: Niall Cowperthwaite (Barrow)
CB: Paul Huntington (Preston North End)
CB: Danny Grainger (Carlisle United)
LB: Ben Davies (Preston North End, on loan to Newport County)
RW: Garry Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers)
CM: Kyle Dempsey (Huddersfield Town)
CM: Connor Hammell (Carlisle United, on loan to Penrith)
LW: Jack Ryan (Preston North End, on loan to Southport)
ST: Grant Holt (Rochdale)
ST: Glenn Murray (Bournemouth)

Four Carlisle representatives feature​ in sparse county Cumbria’s squad

Population: 500k (37th)
Area (square miles): 2,613 (3rd)
England internationals in XI: 1

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - AFC Bournemouth v Watford - Vitality Stadium

Cumbria is second only to neighbouring Northumberland in being the most sparsely populated county in England, with around 500k people (eighth least) dotted over 2,613 square miles.

However, the northern region still have plenty of talent to choose from, including Derby County keeper Scott Carson, Bournemouth’s Glenn Murray and fellow veteran striker Grant Holt, who spent three seasons in the Premier League.

With three left backs to pick from, in an otherwise balanced squad, we have had to move Carlisle United’s Danny Grainger to centre back, a position he has played in this season, with Ben Davies in his usual role. Young Lincoln City loanee Patrick Brough, from Carlisle, has been the left on the bench.

Former Scunthorpe United winger Garry Thompson, now 35 and playing for Wycombe Wanderers, adds to the ageing team, but young trio Jack Ryan, Kyle Dempsey and Connor Hammell make up the rest of the midfield and dramatically lower the average.

Derbyshire

2000px-Derbyshire_flag flag

Goalkeepers: Jake Kean (Norwich, on loan to Colchester), Lee Camp (Rotherham), Josh Lillis (Rochdale)

Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle), Aden Flint (Bristol), Matthew Lowton (Burnley), Carl Dickinson (Port Vale), Nathan Doyle (Luton), Aaron Jones (Raufoss)

Midfielders: Jordon Mutch (Crystal Palace), Lee Williamson (Blackburn), Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest), Lewis McGugan (Sheff Weds), Matt Palmer (Burton, on loan to Oldham), Connor Dimaio (Chesterfield), James Vincent (Inverness)

Forwards: Mason Bennett (Derby, on loan to Burton), Ashley Hunter (Fleetwood), Diego De Girolamo (Sheff Utd), Chris Beardsley (Mansfield)

4-4-2 (diamond)
GK: Lee Camp (Rotherham United)
RB: Matthew Lowton (Burnley)
CB: Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
CB: Aden Flint (Bristol City)
LB: Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United)
DM: Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers)
CM: Jordon Mutch (Crystal Palace)
CM: Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest)
AM: Lewis McGugan (Sheffield Wednesday)
LW: Chris Beardsley (Mansfield)
ST: Mason Bennett (Derby County, on loan to Burton Albion)

Touted England Euro 2016 starter in Derbyshire’s defence

Population: 1.03m (19th)
Area (square miles): 1,013 (22nd)
England internationals in XI: 1

Soccer - UEFA Euro 2016 - Qualifying - Group E - England v Estonia - Wembley Stadium

East Midlands county Derbyshire has a population of just over 1m, but has no real standout stars besides Chelsea and England centre back Gary Cahill, who was born in Dronfield, near the border of South Yorkshire which explains his support for Sheffield Wednesday as a kid.

However, with a solid defence, midfield and goalkeeper, the county would certainly be a match for most teams on this list.

Stopper Lee Camp has spent most of his career in the Championship, while played three Premier League games for Norwich City. In front of him, Matthew Lowton and Jamaal Lascelles have also spent time in the English top flight, and Aden Flint has proven to be an asset both at the back and in front of goal.

The midfield quartet of Championship dwellers Lee Williamson, Ben Osborn and Lewis McGugan, as well as Crystal Palace’s Jordon Mutch, mixes youth and experience well.

Attack is perhaps the one weak point for Derbyshire but, in years to come, Derby County and England Under-19s international forward Mason Bennett, on loan at Burton Albion, is expected to be become a top talent. Journeyman Chris Beardsley partners him in our attack.

Devon

2000px-Flag_of_Devon flag

Goalkeepers: Christy Pym (Exeter)

Defenders: Lloyd Jones (Liverpool, on loan to Blackpool), Dean Moxey (Bolton), Sean Morrison (Cardiff), George Friend (Boro), Mark Ellis (Carlisle), Craig Woodman (Exeter), Jordan Moore-Taylor (Exeter), Gary Sawyer (Plymouth), Ben Tozer (Yeovil), Danny Seaborne (Partick)

Midfielders: Dan Gosling (Bournemouth), Andy King (Leicester), Matt Grimes (Swansea, on loan to Blackburn), Ryan Leonard (Southend), Luke Guttridge (Dag & Red), Matt Jay (Exeter, on loan to Truro), Luke Summerfield (York), Nicky Law (Rangers), Sam Malsom (Nikos & Sokrati)

Forwards: Sam Gallagher (Southampton), Joe Mason (Wolves), Jamie Reid (Exeter), Ollie Watkins (Exeter), Tyler Harvey (Plymouth)

4-4-2
GK: Christy Pym (Exeter City)
RB: Ryan Leonard (Southend)
CB: Sean Morrison (Cardiff City)
CB: George Friend (Middlesbrough)
LB: Dean Moxey (Bolton Wanderers)
RW: Dan Gosling (Bournemouth)
CM: Andy King (Leicester City)
CM: Nicky Law (Rangers)
LW: Matt Grimes (Swansea City, on loan to Blackburn Rovers)
ST: Joe Mason (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
ST: Sam Gallagher (Southampton)

Maiden million pound player bears from southern county Devon

Population: 1.16m (12th)
Area (square miles): 2,590 (4th)
England internationals in XI: 0

Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion - Barclays Premier League - King Power Stadium

Devon is one of the most populated counties with over 1.1m souls, and is also the fourth biggest in area, however they surprisingly don’t have a lot of top talent to pick from.

Former Nottingham Forest winger and the first £1m man Trevor Francis is the southern county’s most famous footballing son, but just two born in the area are playing relatively regularly in the Premier League this season – Andy King (Leicester City) and Dan Gosling (Bournemouth).

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ new signing Joe Mason leads our attack, along with Southampton youngster Sam Gallagher, while a couple of players have had to be moved around in unfavoured positions.

George Friend is a usual left back and Ryan Leonard a midfielder, but both are also adept to slotting in at centre half and on the right of defence respectably. Sean Morrison and former Crystal Palace full back Dean Moxey complete the top four.

Rangers’ goalscoring midfielder Nicky Law partners King in the heart of the XI, meanwhile, and, with lack of choice in goal it is Exeter City 20-year-old Christy Pym who gets the nod.

Dorset

Flag_of_Dorset flag

Goalkeepers: Lewis Price (Sheff Weds), Dan Thomas (Aldershot), Matt Cafer (Europa)

Defenders: Will Aimson (Blackpool), Nathan Walker (Dorchester), Dan Strugnell (Havant and Waterloo), Daniel Webb (Chelmsford)

Midfielders: Dominic Gape (Southampton), Ben Reeves (MK Dons), Brennan Dickenson (Gillingham), Harry Cornick (Bournemouth, on loan to Yeovil), Josh Carmichael (Bournemouth, on loan to Torquay), James Coutts (Totton), Sam Matthews (Bournemouth)

Forwards: Sam Hoskins (Northampton), Jayden Stockley (Bournemouth, on loan to Exeter), Robbie Simpson (Cambridge), Jordan Chiedozie (Boreham)

4-4-2
GK: Lewis Price (Sheffield Wednesday)
RB: Dan Strugnell (Havant and Waterloo)
CB: Will Aimson (Blackpool)
CB: Daniel Webb (free agent)
LB: Brennan Dickenson (Gillingham)
RW: Harry Cornick (Bournemouth, on loan to Yeovil)
CM: Dominic Gape (Southampton)
CM: Ben Reeves (MK Dons)
LW: Sam Hoskins (Northampton Town)
ST: Jayden Stockley (Bournemouth, on loan to Exeter)
ST: Robbie Simpson (Cambridge)

Double of Bournemouth youngsters in Dorset starting line-up

Population: 760k (28th)
Area (square miles): 1,024 (21st)
England internationals in XI: 0

Soccer - Carling Cup - Quarter Final - Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Old Trafford

South coast county Dorset boasts just over 750k people, but lacks any regular Premier League players, though three top-flight owned names make our XI.

Bournemouth is the biggest club in the region, and two youngsters Harry Cornick (loan at Yeovil Town) and Jayden Stockley (Exeter) join Southampton midfielder Dominic Gape in the team.

Former Wales and current Sheffield Wednesday keeper Lewis Price is perhaps the highest-profile player from Dorset still in the game, while Ben Reeves used to ply his trade in the second-tier and ex-Saint Ben Reeves is there right now with MK Dons.

Striker Sam Hoskins also started his career with Southampton, but recently switched to Northampton Town, and his versatility means he has been placed on the left wing.

Defence is the main issue for the county, with journeyman and current free agent Daniel Webb and Gillingham’s usual winger Brennan Dickenson the pick of the bunch.

Durham

Durham flag

Goalkeepers: Steve Harper (Sunderland), Jason Steele (Blackburn), Ben Wilson (Cardiff), Jonathan Mitchell (Derby), Ross Turnbull (Leeds)

Defenders: Andrew Taylor (Wigan, on loan to Reading), Tony McMahon (Bradford), Bryn Morris (Boro, on loan to Walsall), Matthew Bates (Hartlepool), Dan Jones (Hartlepool), Adam Jackson (Boro, on loan to Hartlepool), Peter Hartley (Plymouth), Andrew Davies (Ross C)

Midfielders: Lee Cattermole (Sunderland), James Morrison (West Brom), Adam Reach (Boro, on loan to Preston), Michael Brown (Port Vale), Jarrett Rivers (Blackpool), Marcus Maddison (Peterborough), Neal Bishop (Scunthorpe), Jason Kennedy (Carlisle), Antony Sweeney (Carlisle), Brad Walker (Hartlepool)

Forwards: Elliot Lee (West Ham, on loan to Colchester), Alex Gilliead (Newcastle), Andy Cook (Barrow), Gary Martin (Vikingur)

4-4-2
GK: Steve Harper (Sunderland)
RB: Tony McMahon (Bradford City)
CB: Matthew Bates (Hartlepool)
CB: Andrew Davies (Ross County)
LB: Andrew Taylor (Wigan Athletic, on loan to Reading)
RW: Marcus Maddison (Peterborough)
CM: Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)
CM: James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion)
LW: Adam Reach (Middlesbrough, on loan to Preston North End)
ST: Elliot Lee (West Ham United, on loan to Colchester)
ST: Gary Martin (Vikingur)

Durham have produced most English-born top-flight stars of modern era

Population: 910k (22nd)
Area (square miles): 1,051 (19th)
England internationals in XI: 0

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With just under a 1m population, and being sandwiched in-between passionate footballing counties Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear, Durham has produced a number of Premier League players over the years.

In fact, the Northeast county has produced more English-born top-flight stars than any other county in the modern era (since 1992), with former England and Manchester United captain Bryan Robson its most famous son.

These days, there are no such high-profile talents, but they do have current Scotland international and West Bromwich Albion’s James Morrison, as well as Sunderland midfield destroyer Lee Cattermole.

There is no doubt that Durham have most strength in depth in net, though, with no less than five goalkeepers currently on the books of clubs in the top two tiers in the English Leagues.

It was a close call, but we’ve gone with the highly experienced Steve Harper, ahead of Blackburn Rovers’ Jason Steele, 2011/12 Champions League winner Ross Turnbull, and young duo Ben Wilson and Jonathan Mitchell.

Newly-promoted Middlesbrough have been the main provider for much of the XI, as the whole back four came through the ranks, as did midfield pair Cattermole and Morrison, winger Adam Reach (still on the books) and striker Gary Martin, who is just one of two Iceland-based players we’ve picked from all the counties.

Partnering the Vikingur frontman up front is the son of former England international Rob Lee, Elliot, who was born while his cockney father was playing for Newcastle United.

Essex

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Goalkeepers: Dean Gerken (Ipswich), Joe Lumley (QPR), Daniel Bentley (Southend)

Defenders: Sam Byram (West Ham), Carl Jenkinson (West Ham), Isaac Hayden (Arsenal, on loan to Hull), Ryan Bennett (Norwich), James Tomkins (West Ham), Morgan Fox (Charlton), Richard Keogh (Derby), Dominic Iorfa (Wolves), John White (Southend), Greg Halford (Rotherham)

Midfielders: Alex Pritchard (Spurs, on loan to West Brom), Josh Cullen (West Ham, on loan to Bradford), Michael Kightly (Burnley), Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton, on loan to MK Dons), Billy Knott (Bradford), Josh Cullen (West Ham, on loan to Bradford), Calum Butcher (Burton)

Forwards: Gary Hooper (Sheff Weds), Cody McDonald (Gillingham), Jack Barmby (Leicester)

4-4-2
GK: Dean Gerken (Ipswich Town)
RB: Carl Jenkinson (West Ham United)
CB: James Tomkins (West Ham United)
CB: Richard Keogh (Derby County)
LB: Morgan Fox (Charlton Athletic)
CM: Billy Knott (Bradford City)
CM: Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton and Hove Albion, on loan to MK Dons)
RW: Sam Byram (West Ham United)
AM: Alex Pritchard (Tottenham, on loan to West Bromwich Albion)
LW: Michael Kightly (Burnley)
ST: Gary Hooper (Sheffield Wednesday)

Five Hammers within Essex squad while most talent lies in defence

Population: 1.77m (7th)
Area (square miles): 1,417 (12th)
England internationals in XI: 1

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Due to Essex’s strong contingent in defence, Sam Byram has been moved up to right wing, a position he was used to while at old club Leeds United.

The youngster may be in competition with Carl Jenkinson at West Ham United, but the duo could work together for the county of their birth down the right side of the pitch.

Fellow Hammer James Tomkins partners Republic of Ireland and Derby County’s Richard Keogh in the heart of defence, while Charlton Athletic and Wales youth player Morgan Fox is the only left back to pick from.

Essex are lacking in quantity in goal and up front, but Ipswich Town stopper Dean Gerken and Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Hooper have a wealth of experience.

Centre midfield is also a slight weakness, though England Under-21 international Jake Forster-Caskey is certainly one to watch in the future. Bradford City’s Billy Knott, who played a big part in shocking Chelsea in the 2014/15 FA Cup, also gets the nod.

With over 1.75m current natives, seventh highest, it may be a surprise that Essex can’t offer a more competitive squad, though they wouldn’t leak too many goals.

Gloucestershire

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Goalkeepers: Stuart Nelson (Gillingham), Jamie Stephens (Barnet)

Defenders: Eric Dier (Spurs), Jonathan Meades (Wimbledon), Dan Harding (Eastleigh), Dominic Bernard (Birmingham)

Midfielders: Cole Skuse (Ipswich), Joe Edwards (Colchester), Lee Marshall (Swindon), Lee Mansell (Bristol R), Joe Hanks (Cheltenham), Zack Kotwica (Cheltenham)

Forwards: Courtney Duffus (Everton), Sean Rigg (Wimbledon)

4-4-2
GK: Stuart Nelson (Gillingham)
RB: Dominic Bernard (Birmingham City)
CB: Eric Dier (Tottenham)
CB: Jonathan Meades (AFC Wimbledon)
LB: Dan Harding (Eastleigh)
RW: Lee Marshall (Swindon Town)
CM: Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town)
CM: Joe Edwards (Colchester)
LW: Lee Mansell (Bristol Rovers)
ST: Courtney Duffus (Everton)
ST: Sean Rigg (AFC Wimbledon)

Sporting Lisbon youth graduate star of Gloucestershire outfit

Population: 880k (24th)
Area (square miles): 1,216 (17th)
England internationals in XI: 1

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By far and away, Gloucestershire’s best player is Tottenham and England starlet Eric Dier, who we’ve picked in central defence, although the versatile talent actually spent most of his youth in Portugal and came through Sporting Lisbon’s academy.

The county has almost 900k population, but its lack of high-profile clubs perhaps has something to do with the dearth of talent.

Due to there being so few players to pick from, and a surprising amount of left backs, we’ve had to put some names slightly out of position, particularly in defence and midfield.

Young Everton striker Courtney Duffus, 20, looks to be Gloucestershire’s only other rising star in the years to come, though he is yet to make a senior appearance for the Toffees.

Ipswich Town’s Cole Skuse does offer much ability in midfield, though, while current Gillingham keeper Stuart Nelson provides a lot of experience in goal too.

Greater London

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Goalkeepers: Mark Bunn (Aston Villa), Jamal Blackman (Chelsea), Rob Elliot (Newcastle)

Defenders: Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Kieran Richardson (Aston Villa), John Terry (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Steven Caulker (QPR, on loan to Liverpool), Tiago Ilori (Liverpool), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Steven Taylor (Newcastle), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Glen Johnson (Stoke), Ashley Cole (LA Galaxy), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Melvyn Lorenzen (Werder Bremen), Scott Sutter (Young Boys)

Midfielders: Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace), Jordon Ibe (Liverpool), Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle), Andros Townsend (Newcastle), Wayne Routledge (Swansea), Jack Cork (Swansea), Ryan Mason (Spurs), Mark Noble (West Ham), Frank Lampard (New York FC), Jem Karacan (Bursaspor)

Forwards: Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth), Benik Afobe (Bournemouth), Lewis Grabban (Bournemouth), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Chuba Akpom (Arsenal, on loan to Hull), Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace), Patrick Roberts (Man City, on loan to Celtic), Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Harry Kane (Spurs)

4-4-2
GK: Rob Elliot (Newcastle United)
RB: Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)
CB: Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
CB: John Terry (Chelsea)
LB: Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
RW: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
CM: Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United)
CM: Frank Lampard (New York FC)
LW: Jordon Ibe (Liverpool)
ST: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland)
ST: Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Greater London only county with established past or present PL players

Population: 8.54m (1st)
Area (square miles): 606 (34th)
England internationals in XI: 9

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With the highest population in the country, over 8.5m (around 3m more than Yorkshire), and boasting five Premier League clubs, it is unsurprising that Greater London has a wealth of talent to pick from in all positions from top-flight teams.

However, there is a notable weakness in goal and perhaps midfield. Mark Bunn (Aston Villa), Jamal Blackman (Chelsea) and Rob Elliot (Newcastle United) are the three best keepers, though none are first choice at their clubs.

We have had to summon Frank Lampard to fly back in from New York FC to play in our team, alongside Jonjo Shelvey in centre midfield, while Theo Walcott and Liverpool starlet Jordon Ibe start on the wings.

Like neighbours Essex, Greater London is strongest in defence, with our starting back four consisting of Nathaniel Clyne, Chris Smalling, John Terry and Luke Shaw.

Up top, 2015/16 Premier League top scorer Harry Kane is the main man, and he has poacher Jermain Defoe to partner him.

Greater Manchester

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Goalkeepers: Luke Simpson (Watford), Matt Gilks (Burnley), Keiren Westwood (Sheff Weds)

Defenders: Joe Bennett (Aston Villa, on loan to Sheff Weds), Zeki Fryers (Crystal Palace), Danny Simpson (Leicester), Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Man Utd), Tyler Blackett (Man Utd, on loan to Celtic), Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Wes Brown (Sunderland), Kyle Bartley (Swansea), Kieran Trippier (Spurs), Craig Dawson (West Brom)

Midfielders: Leon Osman (Everton), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester), Cameron Brannagan (Liverpool), Will Buckley (Sunderland, on loan to Birmingham), Tom Ince (Derby), Ravel Morrison (Lazio)

Forwards: Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Ryan Kent (Liverpool), Will Keane (Man Utd), Jordan Rhodes (Boro), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)

4-4-2
GK: Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)
RB: Danny Simpson (Leicester City)
CB: Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion)
CB: Tyler Blackett (Manchester United, loan at Celtic)
LB: Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Manchester United)
RW: Tom Ince (Derby County)
CM: Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)
CM: Ravel Morrison (Lazio)
LW: Will Buckley (Sunderland, loan at Birmingham City)
ST: Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)
ST: Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough)

Six past and present Red Devils in Greater Manchester team

Population: 2.73m (4th)
Area (square miles): 493 (35th)
England internationals in XI: 2

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Gone are the glory days for Greater Manchester when they could boast the likes of former Manchester United quartet Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville from the area, but they would still have a squad to test most.

Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck is perhaps the highest-profile player of the team, while other former Red Devils Danny Simpson, Danny Drinkwater (now both Premier League champions), Ravel Morrison and current youngsters on the books at Old Trafford Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Tyler Blackett make the XI.

Middlesbrough January signing Jordan Rhodes partners Welbeck up front, but young Man Utd strikers Will Keane and newest star Marcus Rashford, recently called up for England’s provisional Euro 2016 squad, are useful options off the bench.

Bury-born Kieran Trippier of Spurs is unlucky not to make our line-up at right back, but he is a great back-up behind Simpson, who played a big part in Leicester City’s incredible 2015/16 season.

Blackett also edges out fellow Man Utd academy graduate and double Champions League-winning Wes Brown, whose career is now in its twilight years, to play alongside Great Britain-capped Craig Dawson.

Republic of Ireland stopper Keiren Westwood gets the nod between the posts, as Tom Ince qualifies for the region being born in Stockport while his famous father Paul Ince was plying his trade at Old Trafford.

Hampshire

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Goalkeepers: Joe McDonnell (Wimbledon)

Defenders: Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Joel Ward (Crystal Palace), Matt Targett (Southampton), Jason McCarthy (Southampton, loan at Wycombe), Harlee Dean (Brentford), Jack Hobbs (Nottingham Forest), Baily Cargill (Bournemouth, loan at Coventry), Jonathan Jack Sealy (Changchun Yatai)

Midfielders: Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), John Swift (Chelsea, on loan to Brentford), Tom Cleverley (Man Utd), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Jake Hesketh (Southampton), Joe Ralls (Cardiff)

Forwards: Dominic Solanke (Chelsea, on loan to Vitesse), Danny Ings (Liverpool), Sam Vokes (Burnley)

4-4-2
GK: Joe McDonnell (AFC Wimbledon)
RB: Joel Ward (Crystal Palace)
CB: Calum Chambers (Arsenal)
CB: Jack Hobbs (Nottingham Forest)
LB: Matt Targett (Southampton)
RW: Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth)
CM: James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
CM: Tom Cleverley (Manchester United)
LW: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
ST: Danny Ings (Liverpool)
ST: Sam Vokes (Burnley)

Eight current top-flight stars make up Hampshire’s impressive XI

Population: 1.8m (5th)
Area (square miles): 1,455 (10th)
England internationals in XI: 4

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With the fifth-highest population count in England (around 1.8m), Hampshire would have a number of players on offer to challenge the best counties, and their young team certainly proves they could be one of the powerhouses.

Southampton have produced a whole host of talent in recent years, including the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Luke Shaw, so it is no surprise that four names who came through their ranks have been picked for our XI.

Current Saints James Ward-Prowse, Matt Targett and now-Arsenal stars Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers add to a talented line-up.

Fellow south coast clubs Portsmouth and Bournemouth can also boast a couple of names to make this Hampshire side, with Joel Ward and Matt Ritchie graduates of the former and international strikers Sam Vokes and Danny Ings of the latter.

It might be a surprise that Tom Cleverley is from Hampshire, having played his whole footballing career north of Watford, but the current Everton midfielder was actually born in Basingstoke before shortly moving to Bradford.

In a highly-talented and youthful squad, Hampshire’s weakest area is no doubt in goal, with AFC Wimbledon’s Joe McDonnell the only notable stopper around.

Herefordshire

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Goalkeepers: Lee Burge (Coventry)

Defenders: Ben Nugent (Crewe), Ben Coker (Southend), Alex Davey (Chelsea), Christian Scales (Crystal Palace)

Midfielders: Kieron Morris (Walsall), Aaron Wildig (Morecambe), Tyler Weir (Worcester), Craig Jones (free agent)

Forwards: Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace), Andy Williams (Doncaster)

4-4-2
GK: Lee Burge (Coventry)
RB: Christian Scales (Crystal Palace)
CB: Alex Davey (Chelsea)
CB: Ben Nugent (Crewe Alexandra)
LB: Ben Coker (Southend United)
RW: Craig Jones (free agent)
CM: Aaron Wildig (Morecambe)
CM: Tyler Weir (Worcester City)
LW: Kieron Morris (Walsall)
ST: Andy Williams (Doncaster Rovers)
ST: Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace)

No Football League teams based in Herefordshire but three PL players

Population: 190k (41st)
Area (square miles): 842 (26th)
England internationals in XI: 0

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Herefordshire may be average in size compared to the rest of the English counties but, with under 190k souls, has the fourth fewest amount of residents after City of London, Rutland and Isle of Wight.

With no football clubs anywhere near the Football League either, the region is certainly up against it, though they can boast Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham as one of their own.

As we could literally only find 11 players from the county, which borders Wales, all have made the line-up albeit some in slightly unfavoured positions.

Despite the limited roster, Herefordshire still can boast two young Premier League defenders in Christian Scales (Crystal Palace) and Alex Davey (Chelsea). Coventry keeper Lee Burge and Doncaster Rovers striker Andy Williams also provide some much-needed ability.

Hertfordshire

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Goalkeepers: Jack Bonham (Brentford), David Button (Brentford), Lee Grant (Derby), Jonathan Bond (Reading)

Defenders: Lewis Kinsella (Aston Villa, on loan to Kidderminster), Harry Toffolo (Norwich, on loan to Peterborough), Paul Robinson (Birmingham), Jason Shackell (Derby), Ryan Fredericks (Fulham), Lee Hodson (MK Dons, on loan to Kilmarnock), Dominic Ball (Spurs)

Midfielders: Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool), Ashley Young (Man Utd), Tom Carroll (Spurs), Harry Winks (Spurs), Sean Murray (Watford), Korey Smith (Bristol), Nathan Byrne (Wolves), Jack Collison (retired), Chris Eagles (Bury)

Forwards: Cauley Woodrow (Fulham), Calaum Jahraldo-Martin (Hull, on loan to Orient), Dean Bowditch (MK Dons), Tom Hitchcock (MK Dons, on loan to Crewe), Craig Mackail-Smith (Luton)

4-2-3-1
GK: David Button (Brentford)
RB: Ryan Fredericks (Fulham)
CB: Jason Shackell (Derby County)
CB: Paul Robinson (Birmingham City)
LB: Lee Hodson (MK Dons, on loan to Kilmarnock)
CM: Tom Carroll (Tottenham)
CM: Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
RW: Ashley Young (Manchester United)
AM: Adam Lallana (Liverpool)
LW: Dean Bowditch (MK Dons)
ST: Cauley Woodrow (Fulham)

Three England internationals in Hertfordshire midfield ranks

Population: 1.15m (13th)
Area (square miles): 634 (33rd)
England internationals in XI: 3

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Home county Hertfordshire, just to the north of Greater London, has over a 1.5m population and boasts a highly talented midfield with Premier League quartet Jack Wilshere, Adam Lallana, Ashley Young and Tom Carroll making our team.

There are another six players from top-flight clubs to pick from but, being youngsters, we have gone for more established talent from the Championship instead in other positions.

Goalkeeping is a strong area of the county, as Brentford’s David Button fought off the likes of teammate Jack Bonham, Lee Grant, and Jonathan Bond to wear the Hertfordshire number one jersey.

Ryan Fredericks, Jason Shackell, veteran left back-turned centre half Paul Robinson and Lee Hodson make up a decent back four, while Cauley Woodrow starts up front.

Carroll and Wilshere stuck nearby to their homeland, at Spurs and Arsenal respectively, while Young came through the academy of Hertfordshire town Watford.

Isle of Wight

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Goalkeepers: Simon Moore (Cardiff), Tom Pass (Frome)

Defenders: Lewis Buxton (Rotherham), Aaron Martin (Coventry), Dan Butler (Torquay), Gary Silk (retired), Liam Triggs (Newport)

Midfielders: Shaun Cooper (Sutton), Jack Maloney (Horndean), George Colson (Bashley), Gareth Williams (retired)

Forwards: James Hayter (Havant and Waterloo)

Other islanders: James Hamon (Exeter/Guernsey), Chris Tardif (Guernsey FC/Guernsey), Kieran Tierney (Celtic/Isle of Man); Peter Vincenti (Rochdale/Jersey), Ryan-Zico Black (Guernsey FC/Guernsey); Brett Pitman (Ipswich/Jersey), Kurtis Guthrie (Forest Green/Jersey)

5-4-1
GK: Simon Moore (Cardiff City)
RB: Liam Triggs (Newport County)
CB: Lewis Buxton (Rotherham United)
CB: Aaron Martin (Coventry City)
CB: Gary Silk (retired)
LB: Dan Butler (Torquay United)
RW: Jack Maloney (Bognor Regis Town)
CM: Shaun Cooper (Sutton United)
CM: George Colson (Bashley)
LW: Gareth Williams (retired)
ST: James Hayter (Havant and Waterloo)

Defence is key area for Isle of Wight

Population: 140k (42nd)
Area (square miles): 147 (42nd)
England internationals in XI: 0

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We had to delve deep into the English lower leagues to find players eligible by birth for Isle of Wight, who have a population of just 140k and are situated off the coast of Hampshire, but we did eventually find an XI.

OK, it may be cheating to include former Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Williams, who last played competitive football five years ago, but he may fancy coming out of retirement to help this team at the age of 49. Fellow islander Matt Le Tissier did it for Guernsey in 2013, so why not?

There is no doubt that the Isle of Wight is best at the back, as it boasts five names from the top five divisions, including Cardiff City keeper Simon Moore and Rotherham United defender Lewis Buxton.

The more-recently retired Gary Silk, formerly of Mansfield Town and Notts County, also takes a place in defence. Despite currently being a masseur at Premier League champions Leicester City, he is still just 31 years old.

Starting on his own up front is ex-Bournemouth and Doncaster Rovers forward James Hayter, who holds the record for scoring the fastest ever Football League hat-trick.

If the Isle of Wight were wanting to look for more names, they could perhaps turn to other British islanders, unless Frome goalie Tom Pass fancies a game outfield…

Jersey-born trio Brett Pitman (Ipswich Town), Peter Vincenti (Rochdale) and Kurtis Guthrie (Forest Green) would be great additions, as would Celtic full back and Scotland international Kieran Tierney of the Isle of Man and maybe even Guernsey midfielder Ryan-Zico Black. Perhaps Le Tiss would fancy a game too?

Kent

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Goalkeepers: Sam Walker (Colchester), Paul Jones (Portsmouth, on loan to Crawley)

Defenders: Chris Solly (Charlton), Josh Hare (Gillingham), Barry Fuller (Wimbledon), Connor Essam (Orient)

Midfielders: Jonny Williams (Crystal Palace, on loan to MK Dons), Louis Thompson (Norwich, on loan to Swindon), Andrew Crofts (Brighton), Scott Wagstaff (Bristol C), George Boyd (Burnley), George Thorne (Derby), Jamie O’Hara (Fulham), Doug Loft (Gillingham), Jake Hessenthaler (Gillingham), Jamie Philpot (Millwall), Ellis Iandolo (Swindon), Dario Vittorio Meadows (Roma)

Forwards: Luke Freeman (Bristol C), Joe Pigott (Charlton, on loan to Luton), Conor Washington (QPR), Aaron Millbank (Gillingham), Gavin Tomlin (Crawley)

3-5-2
GK: Sam Walker (Colchester)
CB: Chris Solly (Charlton Athletic)
CB: Connor Essam (Leyton Orient)
CB: Barry Fuller (AFC Wimbledon)
RW: Jamie O’Hara (Fulham)
CM: George Thorne (Derby County)
CM: Andrew Crofts (Brighton and Hove Albion)
CM: Jonny Williams (Crystal Palace, on loan to MK Dons)
LW: George Boyd (Burnley)
ST: Luke Freeman (Bristol City)
ST: Conor Washington (QPR)

Northern Ireland international striker among Kent’s starting XI

Population: 1.78m (6th)
Area (square miles): 1,442 (11th)
England internationals in XI: 0

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Kent are the 10th biggest English county in size and have the sixth highest population with around 1.8m, but their football team would perhaps not quite live up to those statistics.

Due to their weak defence, we’ve gone with three at the back, with Charlton Athletic’s Chris Solly being the most high profile, while they can claim to only having three Premier League players to pick from.

Both of them are not even currently featuring in the top flight, with Crystal Palace’s Jonny Williams out on loan with MK Dons and Norwich City’s Louis Thompson at Swindon Town.

Former Chelsea youth academy keeper Sam Walker gets the nod in net, though, while midfield quartet Jamie O’Hara, George Thorne, George Boyd and Andrew Crofts have all plied their trade in the Premier League at some stage.

Talented young strikers Luke Freeman and Conor Washington could also see themselves playing there in the next few years, and Roma youth attacker Dario Vittorio Meadows is one for the future too.

Lancashire

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Goalkeepers: Ryan Fulton (Liverpool, on loan to Portsmouth), Sam Johnstone (Man Utd, on loan to Preston), Frank Fielding (Bristol C), Andrew Lonergan (Fulham)

Defenders: Phil Jones (Man Utd), Stephen Warnock (Derby, on loan to Wigan Athletic), Cole Kpekawa (QPR), Reece James (Wigan)

Midfielders: Matty James (Leicester), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff), Liam Grimshaw (Preston), Oliver Norwood (Reading), Richard Chaplow (Doncaster), Marc Pugh (Bournemouth)

Forwards: Jay Rodriguez (Southampton), Connor Mahoney (Blackburn), Joe Garner (Preston), Matt Derbyshire (Rotherham)

4-4-2
GK: Andy Lonergan (Fulham)
RB: Reece James (Wigan Athletic)
CB: Phil Jones (Manchester United)
CB: Cole Kpekawa (QPR)
LB: Stephen Warnock (Derby County, on loan to Wigan Athletic)
RW: Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City)
CM: Matty James (Leicester City)
CM: Oliver Norwood (Reading)
LW: Marc Pugh (Bournemouth)
ST: Jay Rodriguez (Southampton)
ST: Matt Derbyshire (Rotherham United)

Five Man Utd academy products in Lancashire squad

Population: 1.47m (9th)
Area (square miles): 1,187 (18th)
England internationals in XI: 3

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Likewise with Greater Manchester, past and present Man Utd players make up much of Lancashire’s squad.

Former Red Devils academy names Anthony Pilkington, Oliver Norwood, James brothers Reece and Matty, and current defender Phil Jones are in our XI, but Sam Johnstone misses out in goal to Fulham’s Andy Lonergan.

Other talented stars at their disposal would be Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez, Rotherham United’s Matt Derbyshire, goalscoring Cardiff City midfielder Anthony Pilkington and former Liverpool and England left back Stephen Warnock.

With almost 1.5m souls in the county and six Premier League players, it is certainly one of the bigger teams in terms of ability, but would have trouble competing with rivals Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Yorkshire.

Leicestershire

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Goalkeepers: Chris Kirkland (Preston)

Defenders: Liam Moore (Leicester), Joe Mattock (Rotherham), George Taft (Burton), Sam Muggleton (Barnet)

Midfielders: Oliver Burke (Nottingham Forest), Paul Anderson (Bradford), George Thomas (Coventry), Ashley Chambers (Dag & Red), Lee Cox (Stevenage)

Forwards: Harry Panayiotou (Leicester), Emile Heskey (Bolton), Lee Tomlin (Bournemouth, on loan to Ipswich), Luke Varney (Ipswich), Jonson Clarke-Harris (Rotherham), Che Adams (Sheff Utd)

3-5-2
GK: Chris Kirkland (Preston North End)
CB: Liam Moore (Leicester City)
CB: George Taft (Burton Albion)
CB: Joe Mattock (Rotherham United)
CM: Lee Cox (Stevenage)
RW: Paul Anderson (Bradford City)
AM: George Thomas (Coventry City)
AM: Lee Tomlin (Bournemouth, on loan to Ipswich Town)
LW: Oliver Burke (Nottingham Forest)
ST: Emile Heskey (Bolton Wanderers)
ST: Luke Varney (Ipswich Town)

Former England cult hero leads Leicestershire’s attacking line

Population: 1m (20th)
Area (square miles): 833 (28th)
England internationals in XI: 1

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With little over a 1m population, being smack bang in the middle of England and boasting newly crowned Premier League champions Leicester City as one of their clubs, Leicestershire should surely have a wealth of talent at on offer.

However, instead players that are past their prime such as Chris Kirkland, Lee Tomlin, Luke Varney and the iconic Emile Heskey are the star names of this XI.

Promising Leicester defender Liam Moore and former Fox Joe Mattock stand out at the back, but the county is strongest in attack with more to pick from.

Young strikers Che Adams of Sheffield United and another Leicester prospect Harry Panayiotou are unlucky to miss out.

Lincolnshire

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Goalkeepers: Sam Slocombe (Oxford)

Defenders: Danny Butterfield (Exeter), Danny Andrew (Fleetwood), Sam Turner (Ange), Lee Ridley (Bottesford Town), Elliot Green (Whitecaps)

Midfielders: Sam Clucas (Hull), Lee Frecklington (Rotherham), David Norris (Blackpool), Shane Clarke (Tamworth), Jamie McGhee (Boston), Karl Cunningham (Pitea)

Forwards: Patrick Bamford (Chelsea, on loan to Norwich), Liam Mandeville (Doncaster), Tom Hopper (Scunthorpe), Jack Muldoon (Lincoln), Leon Mettam (Tamworth), Danny North (Shamrock Rovers)

4-4-2
GK: Sam Slocombe (Oxford)
RB: Danny Butterfield (Exeter)
CB: Elliot Green (Whitecaps)
CB: Danny Andrew (Fleetwood Town)
LB: Lee Ridley (Gainsborough Trinity)
RW: Liam Mandeville (Doncaster Rovers)
CM: Lee Frecklington (Rotherham United)
CM: David Norris (Blackpool Town)
LW: Sam Clucas (Hull City)
ST: Tom Hopper (Scunthorpe United)
ST: Patrick Bamford (Chelsea, on loan to Norwich City)

Exciting Chelsea prospect up front in Lincolnshire line-up

Population: 1.06m (17th)
Area (square miles): 2,687 (2nd)
England internationals in XI: 0

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Only Yorkshire as a whole is bigger than the ceremonial county of Lincolnshire, yet it is one of more sparsely populated areas of England with so much of the flat land given over to farming. Still, over 1m people live between the Humber and The Wash.

The Lincolnshire XI’s most high-profile player is former England youth international Patrick Bamford, whose precocious talent saw him snapped up by Chelsea from Nottingham Forest aged 15.

Full back Danny Butterfield, now a player-coach with Exeter City, once played Premier League football at Crystal Palace, and in midfield David Norris once starred in Plymouth Argyle’s FA Cup run to the quarter-finals in 2007.

Fellow engine room operator Lee Frecklington (Rotherham United) played over 100 league games for Lincoln City before the Red Imps were relegated to the Conference. Hull City winger Sam Clucas, meanwhile, has impressed is maiden Championship campaign after signing from Chesterfield in the summer.

Merseyside

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Goalkeepers: Paul Harrison (New Saints), Jamie Jones (Stevenage), Tony Thompson (Chester), Andy Coughlin (Southport)

Defenders: Scott Dann (Crystal Palace), Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace), Tony Hibbert (Everton), Leighton Baines (Everton), Tyias Browning (Everton), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), Connor Randall (Liverpool), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Jake Bidwell (Brentford), Ryan Taylor (Hull), Scott Wootton (Leeds), Clint Hill (QPR)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Jordan Rossiter (Liverpool), Jack Rodwell (Sunderland), Callum McManaman (West Brom), Hope Akpan (Blackburn), Jay Spearing (Bolton), Joey Barton (Burnley), Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy)

Forwards: Conor McAleny (Everton, on loan to Wigan), Jack Dunn (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Jon Walters (Stoke), Rickie Lambert (West Brom), David Nugent (Boro)

4-4-2
GK: Paul Harrison (New Saints)
RB: Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace)
CB: Scott Dann (Crystal Palace)
CB: Clint Hill (QPR)
LB: Leighton Baines (Everton)
RW: Callum McManaman (West Bromwich Albion)
CM: Ross Barkley (Everton)
CM: Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy)
LW: Jon Walters (Stoke)
ST: Wayne Rooney (Man Utd)
ST: Rickie Lambert (West Bromwich Albion)

Where Merseyside lacks in keepers it makes up for outfield

Population: 1.39m (10th)
Area (square miles): 249 (39th)
England internationals in XI: 6

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As Merseyside has such a rich footballing history, mainly from clubs Liverpool and Everton, it is unsurprising that they have produced some of the best current players.

However, it is almost unbelievable that they have just one goalkeeper from the top four English divisions – Jamie Jones of League Two outfit Stevenage.

Former Everton youth goalie Jones doesn’t even make our team, though, as ex-Liverpool, Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers-owned Paul Harrison just gets the nod, due to his numerous trophies won with Welsh Premier League side The New Saints.

Outfield, the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley, Leighton Baines and Steven Gerrard are the best of a good bunch, though defence is arguably a weak point as the ageing Clint Hill has had to take a place at centre back.

The ever-reliable Republic of Ireland and Stoke City cult hero Jon Walters gets a starting spot on the wing, meanwhile, and Rickie Lambert just gets the nod ahead of David Nugent up top.

Other names unlucky to miss out are Aaron Cresswell, Jon Flanagan and Jack Rodwell.

Norfolk

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Goalkeepers: Declan Rudd (Norwich), Jed Steer (Aston Villa, on loan to Huddersfield), Remi Matthews (Norwich), Mark Tyler (Luton), Angus Gunn (Man City)

Defenders: Alex Bruce (Hull), Richard Brindley (Colchester), Ben Graver (Brooklyn), Cameron Norman (Woking), Matthew Halliday (Lowestoft), Andrew Howell (former QPR)

Midfielders: Chris Cohen (Nottingham Forest), Harvey Hodd (Fleetwood), Michael Clunan (Histon)

Forwards: Ian Henderson (Rochdale), John Sutton (St Johnstone)

4-4-2 (diamond)
GK: Jed Steer (Aston Villa, on loan to Huddersfield Town)
RB: Richard Brindley (Colchester United)
CB: Alex Bruce (Hull City)
CB: Cameron Norman (Norwich City, on loan to Woking)
LB: Andrew Howell (free agent)
DM: Matthew Halliday (Lowestoft)
CM: Michael Clunan (Histon)
CM: Harvey Hodd (Fleetwood Town)
AM: Chris Cohen (Nottingham Forest)
ST: Ian Henderson (Rochdale)
ST: John Sutton (St Johnstone)

Four Norwich City academy graduates feature in Norfolk squad

Population: 880k (25th)
Area (square miles): 2,074 (5th)
England internationals in XI: 0

Norwich City v Liverpool - Barclays Premier League - Carrow Road

Norfolk is the fifth largest ceremonial county in England and home to more than 875k people. Its population is sparsely distributed, however, with much of the Fens reclaimed land that is below sea level.

Norwich City is the sole Football League and current Premier League club (albeit now relegated) representing this region and, alongside bitter Old Farm rivals Ipswich Town of Suffolk, just one of two teams hailing from East Anglia.

Canaries academy graduates abound in our Norfolk squad. Three of the goalies, including Jed Steer and Declan Rudd, came through the ranks at Carrow Road; as did Rochdale cult hero and forward Ian Henderson.

Alex Bruce, son of Hull City boss Steve, was born in this county while his father played for Norwich. Bruce junior has the rare distinction to have represented both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland at international level.

A special mention must also go out to Nottingham Forest captain Chris Cohen, who has endured multiple knee injuries but continues to play on.

Northamptonshire

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Goalkeepers: Karl Darlow (Newcastle), Elliot Parish (Colchester), Gary Woods (Orient, on loan to Ross C)

Defenders: Luke Chambers (Ipswich), Ryan Haynes (Coventry), Liam Dolman (Rushden & Diamonds), Aaron James (Forfar), Chris Carruthers (Corby Town)

Midfielders: Michael Jacobs (Wigan), Marcus Kelly (Forest Green), Courtney Cameron (Brackley), Luke Daley (Chelmsford)

Forwards: Ivan Toney (Newcastle), Jaanai Gordon (West Ham), Callum Robinson (Aston Villa, on loan to Preston), Billy Mckay (Wigan, on loan to Dundee Utd), Dan Holman (Cheltenham)

4-3-3
GK: Karl Darlow (Newcastle United)
RB: Luke Chambers (Ipswich Town)
CB: Liam Dolman (Rushden & Diamonds)
CB: Aaron James (Forfar)
LB: Ryan Haynes (Coventry City)
RW: Jaanai Gordon (West Ham United)
CM: Michael Jacobs (Wigan Athletic)
LW: Callum Robinson (Aston Villa, loan at Preston North End)
ST: Dan Holman (Cheltenham Town)
ST: Ivan Toney (Newcastle United)
ST: Billy Mckay (Wigan Athletic, on loan to Dundee United)

​Four Northamptonshire starters owned by Premier League teams

Population: 710k (30th)
Area (square miles): 913 (24th)
England internationals in XI: 0

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Northamptonshire is home to around 715k people and is roughly the same size as the East Riding of Yorkshire, which may explain why there are no current footballers from the county that play regularly for Premier League clubs.

Four of our XI are owned by current top-flight teams, though; Karl Darlow, Ivan Toney (both Newcastle United), Jaanai Gordon (West Ham United) and Callum Robinson (Aston Villa).

A lot of the starting team have an affiliation with the town Northampton, as eight of them were born there while four have played for the club.

Despite experienced Ipswich defender Luke Chambers, the rest of the side in this attacking line-up are well under the age of 30 and have much promise for the coming years.

Among them is Northern Ireland international forward Billy Mckay and Dan Holman, who has been prolific for Cheltenham Town since his move in January.

Northumberland

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Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Ben Alnwick (Peterborough), Jak Alnwick (Port Vale),

Defenders: Dan Burn (Fulham), Peter Ramage (Coventry), Kyle Cameron (York), Ryan McKinnon (free agent), Darren Lough (Akranes), Macauley Gillesphey (Newcastle)

Midfielders: Brad Potts (Blackpool), George Honeyman (Sunderland)

Forwards: Mark Cullen (Blackpool), Luke James (Peterborough, on loan to Hartlepool)

5-3-2
GK: Fraser Forster (Southampton)
RB: Macauley Gillesphey (Newcastle United)
CB: Dan Burn (Fulham)
CB: Peter Ramage (Coventry City)
CB: Ryan McKinnon (Free agent)
LB: Kyle Cameron (York City)
RM: George Honeyman (Sunderland)
CM: Brad Potts (Blackpool)
LM: Darren Lough (IA Akranes)
ST: Mark Cullen (Blackpool)
ST: Luke James (Peterborough, on loan to Hartlepool)

Northumberland boast current Saints and former Celtic number one in goal

Population: 315k (40th)
Area (square miles): 1,936 (6th)
England internationals in XI: 1

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There is no doubt about it that England and Southampton stopper Fraser Forster is the star of Northumberland’s current crop of players born in the most northerly English county. But having the fifth fewest amount of people (315k), counting City of London and Rutland, and being the most sparsely populated it is no wonder that there are not many other top names around.

The county can, however, boast the likes of former stars Bobby and Jack Charlton, Jackie Milburn, Peter Beardsley and even former England cricketer Steve Harmison, who is now manager of ninth-tier football team Ashington, as one of their own.

With not a lot of players to chose from, we’ve gone for five at the back, with ex-Newcastle United defender Peter Ramage in a sweeper role, while fellow former Toon academy graduate Darren Lough has been drafted all the way from Icelandic club IA Akranes for the XI.

Four of the five starting defenders have all been on the Magpies’ books too, as has giant keeper Forster.

Nottinghamshire

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Goalkeepers: Scott Loach (Notts C)

Defenders: Wes Morgan (Leicester), Simon Francis (Bournemouth), Tendayi Darikwa (Burnley), Jake Buxton (Derby), Farrend Rawson (Derby, on loan to Rotherham), Alex Baptiste (Boro, on loan to Sheffield United), Kelvin Wilson (Nottingham Forest), James Perch (QPR), Liam Palmer (Sheff Weds)

Midfielders: Tom Cairney (Fulham), Tom Huddlestone (Hull), Jacob Mellis (Bury), Colin Daniel (Port Vale), Kieran Wallace (Sheff Utd), Liam Lawrence (Bistol R), Kris Commons (Celtic)

Forwards: David McGoldrick (Ipswich), Chris O’Grady (Brighton, on loan to Nottingham Forest), Tyler Walker (Nottingham Forest), Leon Best (Rotherham)

4-4-2
GK: Scott Loach (Notts County)
RB: Simon Francis (Bournemouth)
CB: Wes Morgan (Leicester City)
CB: Kelvin Wilson (Nottingham Forest)
LB: James Perch (QPR)
RW: Kris Commons (Celtic)
CM: Tom Huddlestone (Hull City)
CM: Tom Cairney (Fulham)
LW: Tyler Walker (Nottingham Forest)
ST: David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town)
ST: Chris O’Grady (Brighton and Hove Albion, on loan to Nottingham Forest)

Nottinghamshire possess defender on verge of shock Premier League success

Population: 1.16m (15th)
Area (square miles): 834 (27th)
England internationals in XI: 1

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Nottinghamshire has the 16th highest population total at over 1.1m and the 13th greatest density, with a modest ceremonial county size of 27th place among the areas of England.

The City of Nottingham, once surrounded by Sherwood Forest that is home to the myths and legends of Robin Hood, has two football teams; Forest and Notts County.

It is Nottingham Forest connections, as well as the region’s peculiar proclivity for producing defenders that have gone on to represent Jamaica, that are among the notable trends.

Seven of our starting XI have played for the Tricky Trees, who famously won back-to-back European Cups under iconic manager Brian Clough in 1979 and 1980.

Wes Morgan lifted the Premier League trophy as Leicester City’s fairytale came true. Two others in the back four; the versatile James Perch and Simon Francis have played top-flight football.

Celtic winger Kris Commons controversially crossed the Clough divide and joined Forest’s bitter rivals Derby County before going on to play internationally for Scotland.

Midfield anchorman Tom Huddlestone has four England caps under his belt, but the Hull City star is one of seven players currently plying their trade in the Championship.

Oxfordshire

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Goalkeepers: Richard Lee (retired), Eddie Cavanagh (Oxford), Leigh Bedwell (Didcot)

Defenders: Alex Pearce (Derby, on loan to Bristol C), Jordan Obita (Reading), Jack King (Scunthorpe), Sam Long (Oxford), James Lawrence (Trencin), Simon King (free agent)

Midfielders: Josh McEachran (Brentford), Matt Taylor (Burnley), Dean Whitehead (Huddersfield), Giorgio Rasulo (MK Dons), Jorge Grant (Nottingham Forest), Garath McCleary (Reading), Simon Gillett (Yeovil), Lawson D’Ath (Northampton), Josh Ruffels (Oxford), Callum O’Dowda (Oxford)

Forwards: Dexter Blackstock (Nottingham Forest), Gozie Ugwu (Wycombe), Jake Gosling (Bristol R)

4-4-1-1
GK: Richard Lee (retired)
RB: James Lawrence (Trencin)
CB: Alex Pearce (Derby County, on loan to Bristol C)
CB: Jack King (Scunthorpe United)
LB: Jordan Obita (Reading)
RW: Garath McCleary (Reading)
CM: Josh McEachran (Brentford)
CM: Dean Whitehead (Huddersfield)
LW: Matt Taylor (Burnley)
SS: Jake Gosling (Bristol Rovers, on loan to Newport County)
ST: Dexter Blackstock (Nottingham Forest)

All-time ​top Gibraltar international scorer features in Oxfordshire outfit

Population: 670k (32nd)
Area (square miles): 1,006 (23rd)
England internationals in XI: 0

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Former Arsenal and England commanding centre back Martin Keown is perhaps Oxfordshire’s most famous son footballing-wise, and how they would love his presence in this chosen XI of current players.

They do have a decent enough team overall, though, despite having a relatively small population of around 675k and being better known for its university city of Oxford.

In defence, Republic of Ireland and Derby County-owned Alex Pearce plays alongside Scunthorpe United’s Jack King at centre half, with James Lawrence, of Slovakian champions Trencin, and Reading’s Jordan Obita in the full back positions.

Five other Championship stars also line up for Oxfordshire; Jamaica winger Garath McCleary, former Chelsea youngster Josh McEachran, ex-Stoke City midfielder Dean Whitehead, the experienced Matt Taylor and frontman Dexter Blackstock.

That leaves just two places. Firstly in goal, and as ex-Watford keeper Richard Lee has only just retired and is still only 33, we’ve put him in ahead of two local youth players. In the support striker role, meanwhile, Bristol Rovers-owned attacker Jake Gosling gets the nod and is officially the highest scorer in the history of adopted nation and FIFA’s newest member Gibraltar’s history with two.

Overall, Oxfordshire certainly punch above their weight, and even have strength in depth to some degree.

Shropshire

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Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Ben Garratt (Crewe)

Defenders: Billy Jones (Sunderland), Dominic Smith (Shrewsbury), Lee Collins (Mansfield), Rob Taylor (Kidderminster)

Midfielders: Danny Guthrie (Blackburn), Elliott Bennett (Blackburn), Dave Edwards (Wolves), Jack Price (Wolves), Kyle Bennett (Portsmouth)

Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland, on loan to Marseille), Tom Bradshaw (Walsall), Matt Done (Sheff Utd)

4-4-2
GK: Joe Hart (Manchester City)
RB: Billy Jones (Sunderland)
CB: Dominic Smith (Shrewsbury Town)
CB: Lee Collins (Mansfield)
LB: Rob Taylor (Kidderminster)
RW: Elliott Bennett (Blackburn Rovers)
CM: Danny Guthrie (Blackburn Rovers)
CM: Jack Price (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
LW: Dave Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
ST: Matt Done (Sheffield United)
ST: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland, on loan to Marseille)

Shropshire hold England’s number one shot stopper between their sticks

Population: 480k (38th)
Area (square miles): 1,347 (14th)
England internationals in XI: 1

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Given its relatively small population of around 480k (seventh fewest in England), you’d expect Shropshire to have produced a non-competitive side.

However, they can boast none other than England number one keeper Joe Hart as well as star Scotland striker Steven Fletcher, who was born in Shrewsbury (like six others in the XI including the Manchester City stopper) as his Liverpudlian soldier father was stationed there.

Although on loan at French club Marseille, Fletcher is owned by Sunderland and his teammate Billy Jones is the only other Premier League player in the side.

In an otherwise lower league defence, the four-man midfield is made up of four Championship names – two apiece from Blackburn Rovers (Elliott Bennett and Danny Guthrie) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (Jack Price and Dave Edwards). Unfortunately Bennett’s younger brother Kyle of Portsmouth misses out.

Edwards, who played in the Shrewsbury Town first team with Hart for a few years, has gone on to represent Wales internationally, which is not surprising given that Shropshire borders the country.

Another Welsh-declared player Matt Done, of Sheffield United, meanwhile, partners Fletcher up front in this multi-national team.

Somerset

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Goalkeepers: Ben Hamer (Leicester), Matt Macey (Arsenal), Chris Weale (Yeovil)

Defenders: Tyrone Mings (Bournemouth), Martin Cranie (Huddersfield), Chris Stokes (Coventry), Scott Laird (Scunthorpe), Paul Downing (Walsall)

Midfielders: Lloyd Isgrove (Southampton, on loan to Barnsley), Aaron Kuhl (Reading), Lee Martin (Millwall), Alex Bray (Swansea), Josh Sims (Southampton)

Forwards: Scott Sinclair (Aston Villa), Ryan Seager (Southampton, on loan to Crewe), Ashley Barnes (Burnley), Tom Nichols (Peterborough), James Keene (Bidvest Wits)

4-4-2
GK: Ben Hamer (Leicester City)
RB: Scott Laird (Scunthorpe United)
CB: Martin Cranie (Huddersfield Town)
CB: Chris Stokes (Coventry City)
LB: Tyrone Mings (Bournemouth)
RW: Scott Sinclair (Aston Villa)
CM: Aaron Kuhl (Reading)
CM: Lee Martin (Millwall)
LW: Lloyd Isgrove (Southampton, on loan to Barnsley)
ST: Ashley Barnes (Burnley)
ST: Tom Nichols (Peterborough)

Somerset fields four Premier League-owned players

Population: 930k (21st)
Area (square miles): 1,610 (7th)
England internationals in XI: 0

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Somerset is the seventh biggest English county in size, but has a relatively small population in comparison with just over 930k, though can field an XI largely made up of Premier League and Championship players.

Aston Villa attacker Scott Sinclair stands out as the star man of the team, but left back Tyrone Mings will be one to watch in future once he is back to full fitness after a long spell out injured shortly after signing for Bournemouth.

Reserve Leicester City keeper Ben Hamer and Southampton’s Lloyd Isgrove (on loan at Barnsley) are the other top flight club-owned names picked for our XI, but youth players Alex Bray (Swansea) City), Matt Macey (Arsenal) and Ryan Seager (Saints) are useful squad additions.

Huddersfield Town’s Martin Cranie is a solid addition to the defence, while Ashley Barnes, who qualifies for Austria, is up front with Peterborough young-gun Tom Nichols.

Former Manchester United academy graduate Lee Martin makes the midfield, but well-travelled James Keene, now of South African team Bidvest Wits, just misses out up front.

Staffordshire

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Goalkeepers: Adam Legzdins (Birmingham), Matt Jones (Belenenses, on loan to Philadelphia)

Defenders: Ryan Shotton (Derby, on loan to Birmingham), Mike Williamson (Wolves), Amari’i Bell (Fleetwood), Curtis Nelson (Plymouth)

Midfielders: Marc Albrighton (Leicester), Ollie Shenton (Stoke), Ryan Woods (Brentford), Jamie Hanson (Derby), Joe Newell (Rotherham), Ryan Colclough (Crewe), Chris Birchall (Port Vale), Rostyn Griffiths (Roda)

Forwards: James Wilson (Man Utd, on loan to Brighton), Liam McAlinden (Wolves), Martin Paterson (Blackpool), Craig Davies (Wigan)

4-4-2
GK: Matt Jones (Belenenses, on loan to Philadelphia Union)
RB: Ryan Shotton (Derby County, on loan to Birmingham City)
CB: Mike Williamson (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
CB: Curtis Nelson (Plymouth)
LB: Amari’i Bell (Fleetwood Town)
RW: Marc Albrighton (Leicester City)
CM: Jamie Hanson (Derby County)
CM: Ryan Woods (Brentford)
LW: Joe Newell (Rotherham United)
ST: Martin Paterson (Blackpool)
ST: James Wilson (Manchester United, on loan to Brighton and Hove Albion)

Globetrotting duo feature in youthful Staffordshire set-up

Population: 1.11m (16th)
Area (square miles): 1,048 (20th)
England internationals in XI: 0

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Being the home of St George’s Park National Football Centre since 2012, in Burton-upon-Trent to be exact, expect Staffordshire to produce some top names in future.

For now, highly-rated Manchester United striker James Wilson, on loan at Brighton and Hove Albion, and Leicester City’s Marc Albrighton represent the region’s top names.

Former Premier League players Ryan Shotton, Mike Williamson and Northern Ireland forward Martin Paterson also make the XI.

Notable mentions should go to centre back Curtis Nelson, who has played well over 200 times for Plymouth Argyle and is their captain still at the age of 22. Goalkeeper Matt Jones, meanwhile, went down the unusual route of plying his trade in Portugal, recently including top-flight team Belenenses, though is now on loan with MLS outfit Philadelphia Union from them.

Another globetrotter in Rostyn Griffiths, now of Dutch team Roda and formerly of Chinese and Australian clubs, just misses out on a starting place.

Suffolk

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Goalkeepers: Richard Wright (Man City), Joe Lewis (Cardiff, on loan to Fulham)

Defenders: Michael Morrison (Birmingham), Matt Clarke (Ipswich, on loan to Portsmouth), Matthew Upson (MK Dons), Curtley Williams (Luton), Curtis Haynes-Brown (Maldon and Tiptree), Josh Meekings (Inverness), Titus Bramble (free agent)

Midfielders: Liam Trotter (Bolton), Stuart O’Keefe (Cardiff), Luke Hyam (Ipswich), Ed Upson (Millwall), Matt Bloomfield (Wycombe)

Forwards: Chris Martin (Derby), Macauley Bonne (Colchester), Adam Marriott (Stevenage)

4-4-2 (diamond)
GK: Joe Lewis (Cardiff City, loan at Fulham)
RB: Josh Meekings (Inverness)
CB: Matthew Upson (MK Dons)
CB: Michael Morrison (Birmingham City)
LB: Matt Clarke (Ipswich Town, on loan to Portsmouth)
DM: Stuart O’Keefe (Cardiff City)
CM: Liam Trotter (Bolton Wanderers)
CM: Luke Hyam (Ipswich)
AM: Ed Upson (Millwall)
ST: Macauley Bonne (Colchester United)
ST: Chris Martin (Derby County)

Frontman Chris Martin leads attack for Suffolk side

Population: 740k (29th)
Area (square miles): 1,467 (9th)
England internationals in XI: 1

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Suffolk comprises the southern half of East Anglia, and is the eighth largest ceremonial county of England, with a sparse population density and home to just less than 750k people. Ipswich Town is the sole Football League club from this area.

Under legendary boss Sir Bobby Robson, the Tractor Boys won the 1977/78 FA Cup and then the old UEFA Cup in 1980/81. This built upon another great manager, Sir Alf Ramsey, who helped them to the 1961/62 Football League Championship and then went on to coach England to World Cup glory on home soil in 1966. More recently, Ipswich earned Premier League promotion in 2000 and finished fifth the following season before being relegated.

Like Tractor Boys boss Mick McCarthy, who has been known to use this tactical nuance, our Suffolk side has a back four entirely made up of centre halves – the most high-profile of which is ex-England defender Matt Upson, now of MK Dons. Namesake Ed, not related, gets in midfield.

Current Scotland striker Chris Martin (Derby County) leads the attack, yet like goalie Joe Lewis came through the academy of Ipswich’s Old Farm rivals, Norwich City.

Surrey

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Goalkeepers: Alex McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Robert Green (QPR), Paul Smith (Southend)

Defenders: Roger Johnson (Charlton), Mark Hudson (Huddersfield), Callum Kennedy (Wimbledon), Jack Saville (Aldershot)

Midfielders: Will Hughes (Derby), George Saville (Wolves), Abu Ogogo (Shrewsbury), Josh Wakefield (Bournemouth), Jordan Houghton (Chelsea, on loan to Plymouth), Dannie Bulman (Wimbledon, on loan to Walsall), Tom Richards (Aldershot)

Forwards: Jamie Mackie (QPR), Craig Tanner (Reading, loan at Plymouth), Scott Rendell (Woking)

3-5-2
GK: Alex McCarthy (Crystal Palace)
CB: Roger Johnson (Charlton Athletic)
CB: Mark Hudson (Huddersfield Town)
CB: Callum Kennedy (AFC Wimbledon)
DM: Jordan Houghton (Chelsea, on loan to Plymouth Argyle)
RM: Abu Ogogo (Shrewsbury Town)
CM: George Saville (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
CM: Will Hughes (Derby County)
LM: Tom Richards (Aldershot)
ST: Craig Tanner (Reading, on loan to Plymouth Argyle)
ST: Jamie Mackie (QPR)

Strength in goal for Surrey but they possess a future England star too

Population: 1.16m (11th)
Area (square miles): 642 (32nd)
England internationals in XI: 0

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For Surrey’s population size of over 1.1m (10th highest), they lack somewhat in top talent and depth, particularly in defence which is why we have gone for three at the back. They are still able to call upon experienced duo Roger Johnson and Mark Hudson, though.

Will Hughes is the star of the team, and has been hotly tipped to be a future England player in the next couple of years, while Jamie Mackie provides quality and tenacity further up in attack.

It is a largely youthful side that makes up the rest of the team, but Surrey has provided three decent keepers, that neighbours Greater London perhaps wished they could’ve had.

Former England stopper Robert Green, promising Crystal Palace number two Alex McCarthy and ex-Nottingham Forest goalie Paul Smith would all battle it out for the spot between the posts, and we have handed the Eagles man the gloves.

Sussex

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Goalkeepers: Joe Day (Newport)

Defenders: Steve Cook (Bournemouth), Tommy Elphick (Bournemouth), Russell Martin (Norwich), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joel Lynch (Huddersfield), Grant Hall (QPR), Brad Barry (Swindon), Leon Legge (Cambridge), Mickey Demetriou (Shrewsbury), Adam Webster (Portsmouth), Michael Harriman (Wycombe)

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Everton), Dean Hammond (Leicester, on loan to Sheff Utd), Solly March (Brighton), David Wheeler (Exeter), Wes Fogden (Yeovil), Harrison Reed (Southampton), Dean Cox (Orient)

Forwards: Greg Luer (Hull, on loan to Stevenage), Shamir Fenelon (Crawley), James Norwood (Tranmere), Marcus Tudgay (Coventry), Rhys Murphy (Oldham), Conor Chaplin (Portsmouth)

4-5-1
GK: Joe Day (Newport County)
RB: Russell Martin (Norwich City)
CB: Tommy Elphick (Bournemouth)
CB: Steve Cook (Bournemouth)
LB: Joel Lynch (Huddersfield Town)
DM: Gareth Barry (Everton)
RW: Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion)
CM: Harrison Reed (Southampton)
CM: Dean Hammond (Leicester City, on loan to Sheffield United)
LW: Marcus Tudgay (Coventry City)
ST: Greg Luer (Hull City, on loan to Stevenage)

East the main provider for Sussex including two Cherries defenders

Population: 1.65m (8th)
Area (square miles): 1,469 (8th)
England internationals in XI: 1

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Likewise with Yorkshire, we have merged East and West Sussex into one county to make a combined population of just over 1.6m and a size of 1461 square miles, which puts them in eighth place on both lists.

Despite putting both regions together, just two players from the West side make our XI – Southampton youngster Harrison Reed and Coventry City attacker Marcus Tudgay.

The East, meanwhile, boasts the likes of Bournemouth centre backs Steve Cook and skipper Tommy Elphick, and fellow Premier League players Scotland international Russell Martin and ex-England midfielder Gareth Barry.

Evergreen Everton star Barry’s nephew Brad, of Swindon Town, meanwhile, misses the cut with the defence already being strong enough especially in centre back positions.

Due to there being less talent in attack, young Hull City striker Greg Luer, on loan at Stevenage, gets the nod up front.

Goalkeeping is the one area lacking in numbers, though, with Newport County stopper Joe Day the only one available.

Tyne and Wear

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Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Sunderland), Mark Gillespie (Carlisle), Adam Bartlett (Hartlepool), Steve Simonsen (Pune City)

Defenders: Paul Dummett (Newcastle), Shaun Hutchinson (Fulham), David Ferguson (Blackpool captain), Connor Oliver (Blackpool), Michael Nelson (Barnet), Carl Magnay (Hartlepool), Callum Morris (Dundee Utd)

Midfielders: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Michael Carrick (Man Utd), Jack Colback (Newcastle), Ben Pringle (Fulham, on loan to Ipswich), Grant Leadbitter (Boro), Chris Basham (Sheff Utd)

Forwards: Sammy Ameobi (Newcastle, on loan to Cardiff), Adam Armstrong (Newcastle, on loan to Coventry), Danny Graham (Sunderland, on loan to Blackburn), Andy Carroll (West Ham), Gary Madine (Bolton), Michael Chopra (Alloa)

4-4-2 (diamond)
GK: Jordan Pickford (Sunderland)
RB: Chris Basham (Sheffield United)
CB: Shaun Hutchinson (Fulham)
CB: Paul Dummett (Newcastle United)
LB: David Ferguson (Blackpool)
DM: Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
CM: Jack Colback (Newcastle United)
CM: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
AM: Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough)
ST: Andy Carroll (West Ham United)
ST: Adam Armstrong (Newcastle United, on loan to Coventry City)

Geordies and Mackems unite in strong Tyne and Wear line-up

Population: 1.12m (14th)
Area (square miles): 209 (40th)
England internationals in XI: 3

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Tyne and Wear is the seventh most densely populated area of England, and home to more than 1m Geordies and Mackems. A land divided by the two rivers that bisect it, the Newcastle United v Sunderland rivalry is one of the most intense in football. Holding the 14th most people, the region is one of the smallest and almost entirely metropolitan.

In our Tyne and Wear team, half a dozen current Premier League players get in. Middlesbrough captain Grant Leadbitter apart, all of Jack Colback, Michael Carrick and Jordan Henderson have at least been called up to the England squad by current national boss Roy Hodgson.

West Ham United target man Andy Carroll is the most expensive player from the region ever, commanding total transfer fees of £50m. Paul Dummett is the only Magpies academy graduate still turning out for the Toon, but striker Adam Armstrong’s encouraging loan spell with Coventry City hints at a future.

Perhaps the best known youth team in this region is the Wallsend Boys Club that has helped honed the skills of Steve Watson, Alan Shearer, Peter Beardsley, Steve Bruce, Lee Clark and Alan Thompson. Current Tyne and Wear crop Carrick and Armstrong also passed through their ranks, as did Fraser Forster and Steven Taylor.

Warwickshire

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Goalkeepers: Ben Foster (West Brom), Cameron Belford (Stranraer), Tyrell Belford (Swindon)

Defenders: Aaron Phillips (Coventry), Jon Ashton (Crawley), Ian Roper (Bedworth United), Tom Lees (Sheff Weds), Amardeep Singh (KVK Tienen)

Midfielders: Peter Whittingham (Cardiff), Kyle Storer (Cheltenham), Lee Hildreth (Tamworth), Matty Blair (Mansfield), Craig Stanley (Lincoln), Jack Finch (Coventry)

Forwards: Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest), Jacob Blyth (Leicester)

4-4-2 (diamond)
GK: Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion)
RB: Tom Lees (Sheffield Wednesday)
CB: Amardeep Singh (KVK Tienen)
CB: Ian Roper (Bedworth United)
LB: Aaron Phillips (Coventry City)
DM: Kyle Storer (Cheltenham Town)
CM: Craig Stanley (Lincoln City)
CM: Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City)
AM: Matty Blair (Mansfield Town)
ST: Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest)
ST: Jacob Blyth (Leicester City)

Warwickshire boast a solid spine including England keeper

Population: 550k (35th)
Area (square miles): 763 (29th)
England internationals in XI: 1

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England international and former Manchester United stopper Ben Foster is the star for Warwickshire, and the only regular top-flight player in the squad, when fit.

The ceremonial county, which is in the West Midlands region, may only have a population of just over 550k, but has a decent spine to the team.

In front of Foster in defence, Sheffield Wednesday’s Tom Lees is at full back, though the two centre half’s Amardeep Singh (of Belgian club KVK Tienen) and Ian Roper (Bedworth United) lack in ability.

Further up the field, goalscoring midfielder Peter Whittingham and striker Matty Fryatt could form a good partnership, while Leicester City-owned forward Jacob Blyth provides youth.

West Midlands

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Goalkeepers: Jack Rose (West Brom), Carl Ikeme (Wolves)

Defenders: Micah Richards (Aston Villa), Joleon Lescott (Aston Villa), Ashley Williams (Swansea), Mitch Hancox (Birmingham), Connor Goldson (Brighton), Ben Turner (Cardiff), Cyrus Christie (Derby), Danny Batth (Wolves), Richard Stearman (Fulham)

Midfielders: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Gary Gardner (Aston Villa, on loan to Nottingham Forest), Nathan Redmond (Norwich), James Maddison (Norwich, on loan to Coventry), Demarai Gray (Leicester), Craig Gardner (West Brom), Reece Brown (Birmingham), Mark Davies (Bolton), Lloyd Dyer (Watford), Karl Henry (QPR)

Forwards: Callum Wilson (Bournemouth), Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jerome Sinclair (Liverpool), Troy Deeney (Watford), James Vaughan (Huddersfield, on loan to Birmingham), Nathan Delfouneso (Blackburn), Andre Gray (Burnley), Will Grigg (Wigan), Matt Smith (Fulham), Jamie Paterson (Nottingham Forest, on loan to Huddersfield), Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest)

4-4-2
GK: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
RB: Micah Richards (Aston Villa)
CB: Ashley Williams (Swansea City)
CB: Joleon Lescott (Aston Villa)
LB: Cyrus Christie (Derby County)
RW: Demarai Gray (Leicester City)
CM: Gary Gardner (Aston Villa, on loan to Nottingham Forest)
CM: Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion)
LW: Nathan Redmond (Norwich City)
ST: Troy Deeney (Watford)
ST: Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Brothers in arms in heart of West Midlands midfield

Population: 2.81m (3rd)
Area (square miles): 348 (38th)
England internationals in XI: 3

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West Midlands would probably win the battle of the region of the same name, which includes other ceremonial counties Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire, due to boasting more than 2.8m inhabitants.

Due to its relatively small size in comparison and being home to major city Birmingham, it is also the third most dense county after Great London and Bristol.

They have a vast amount of talent and depth at their disposal in all positions, with our chosen squad all owned by Premier League and Championship clubs.

Attack is perhaps the West Midlands’ strongest position, with the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Troy Deeney, Andre Gray, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Callum Wilson all from the area, with the former duo picked to play up front for our team.

Gardner brothers Gary and Craig start in the heart of midfield, with tricky wingers Demarai Gray and Nathan Redmond either side of them.

There is also a strong look to the defence, with Micah Richards, Ashley Williams, Joleon Lescott all in the XI, while Republic of Ireland’s usual right back Cyrus Christie is put on the left. Carl Ikeme is in goal, with West Bromwich Albion youngster Jack Rose as back-up.

Wiltshire

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Goalkeepers: Steve Mildenhall (Bristol R), Will Puddy (Bristol R), James Bittner (Plymouth)

Defenders: Jordan Turnbull (Southampton, on loan to Swindon), Matt Mills (Nottingham Forest), Jon Guthrie (Crewe), Joseph Mills (Oldham)

Midfielders: Nathan Dyer (Swansea, on loan to Leicester), George Moncur (Colchester), Tom Smith (Swindon), Yan Klukowski (Newport), Will Evans (Eastleigh), Ryan Gilligan (PS Kemi Kings)

Forwards: Billy Bodin (Bristol R), James Constable (Eastleigh), Matt Tubbs (Portsmouth)

4-4-2
GK: Steve Mildenhall (Bristol Rovers)
RB: Matt Mills (Nottingham Forest)
CB: Jon Guthrie (Crewe Alexandra)
CB: Jordan Turnbull (Southampton, on loan to Swindon Town)
LB: Joseph Mills (Oldham Athletic)
RW: Nathan Dyer (Swansea City, on loan to Leicester City)
CM: Ryan Gilligan (PS Kemi Kings)
CM: George Moncur (Colchester United)
LW: Billy Bodin (Bristol Rovers)
ST: Matt Tubbs (Portsmouth, on loan to Eastleigh)
ST: James Constable (Eastleigh)

Brothers and Finland-based midfielder get in Wiltshire XI

Population: 700k (31st)
Area (square miles): 1,346 (15th)
England internationals in XI: 0

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With a relatively small population of around 700k, Wiltshire can only boast one player currently in the Premier League, though even Nathan Dyer (on loan from Swansea City) did not get many games in Leicester City’s title run.

Young defender Jordan Turnbull is owned by Southampton but is currently in his second spell with Swindon Town, while Mills brothers Matt (of Nottingham Forest) and Joseph are in the full back positions. With not many to chose from in this position, we’ve had to pick three left-sided defenders.

Club Eastleigh, based in nearby Hampshire, provide both of our starting strikers James Constable and Matt Tubbs (on loan from Portsmouth), and the former has enjoyed his time in front of the net this term.

Ryan Gilligan, meanwhile, has got the call all the way from Finnish club PS Kemi Kings, with whom he’s recently signed for after spending the last four years with Swedish teams following the move from Northampton Town.

Worcestershire

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Goalkeepers: Danny Lewis (Solihull Moors)

Defenders: Nathan Baker (Aston Villa, on loan to Bristol C), Mark Little (Bristol C), Danny Jackman (Worcester), James Bowen (Cheltenham), Ben Priest (Dundee)

Midfielders: Joe Lolley (Huddersfield), Liam McDonald (Redditch), Luke Maxwell (Kidderminster), Matthew Birley (Solihull), Matt Watson (Carolina)

Forwards: Bobbie Dale (Gloucester), Ben Maund (Worcester), Ryan Rowe (Worcester), Richard Peniket (Halifax)

4-4-2
GK: Danny Lewis (Solihull)
RB: Mark Little (Bristol City)
CB: Ben Priest (Dundee)
CB: Nathan Baker (Aston Villa, loan at Bristol City)
LB: James Bowen (Cheltenham Town)
RW: Joe Lolley (Huddersfield Town)
CM: Matt Watson (Carolina RailHawks)
CM: Danny Jackman (Worcester City)
LW: Luke Maxwell (Kidderminster Harriers)
ST: Richard Peniket (Halifax Town)
ST: Ryan Rowe (Worcester City)

Aston Villa defender the star for Worcestershire

Population: 575k (34th)
Area (square miles): 672 (31st)
England internationals in XI: 0

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The West Midlands area as a whole has provided a lot of top names in recent years, but Worcestershire is perhaps the weakest with just one Premier League-owned player to count for in Nathan Baker.

Centre back Baker is currently on loan at Championship club Bristol City, and he is joined in this XI by temporary teammate Mark Little and Joe Lolley in the same division.

Although born and raised in England, midfielder Matt Watson went to university in America and has since stayed where he currently turns out for NASL outfit Carolina RailHawks.

Watson partners the versatile Danny Jackman with promising winger Luke Maxwell out on the wing along with fellow rising star Lolley of Huddersfield Town.

Local team Worcester City provide both Jackman and Ryan Rowe, with fellow non-league players James Bowen and Richard Peniket in the line-up too.

Yorkshire

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Goalkeepers: Paul Robinson (Burnley), David Stockdale (Brighton), Richard O’Donnell (Bristol C), Alex Smithies (QPR), Mark Oxley (Hibs)

Defenders: Kyle Walker (Spurs), Kyle Naughton (Swansea), John Stones (Everton), Danny Rose (Spurs), Michael Dawson (Hull), Mason Holgate (Everton), Luke Garbutt (Everton, loan at Fulham), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool, on loan to Norwich), Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham), Tommy Spurr (Blackburn), David Wheater (Bolton), Harry Maguire (Hull), Liam Cooper (Leeds), Jonathan Woodgate (Boro)

Midfielders: Fabian Delph (Man City), James Milner (Liverpool), Aaron Lennon (Everton), Jonny Howson (Norwich), Matt Jarvis (Norwich), Ben Godfrey (Norwich), Jacob Butterfield (Derby), Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield), Alex Mowatt (Leeds), Lewis Cook (Leeds), Stewart Downing (Boro), Aymen Tahar (Boavista)

Forwards: Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Fraizer Campbell (Crystal Palace), Cameron Jerome (Norwich), Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham), Chris Brown (Blackburn)

4-5-1
GK: David Stockdale (Brighton and Hove Albion)
RB: Kyle Walker (Tottenham)
CB: John Stones (Everton)
CB: Michael Dawson (Hull City)
LB: Danny Rose (Tottenham)
RW: Aaron Lennon (Everton)
CM: Lewis Cook (Leeds United)
CM: Jonny Howson (Norwich City)
CM: Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
LW: James Milner (Liverpool)
ST: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

Yorkshire side sees six stars that came through Leeds’ ranks

Population: 5.31m (2nd)
Area (square miles): 5,664 (1st)
England internationals in XI: 7

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Being the biggest in size and second most populated (almost 5.5m) county – we have put North, East Riding, South and West together – it is unsurprising that Yorkshire boasts an array of talent from the top two tiers.

The likes of World Cup champion Gordon Banks, double Ballon d’Or winner Kevin Keegan and managerial great Brian Clough all hailed from the White Rose region too, but modern day Yorkies include sought after rising star John Stones and man of the moment Jamie Vardy.

A slight area of weakness would be perhaps be in goal, with keepers currently plying their trade in the Premier League, but they do have Championship stoppers David Stockdale, Alex Smithies and former England number one Paul Robinson to pick from.

Leeds United may be fallen giants, but their academy is still going strong as six of our starting XI came through the club’s ranks, including exciting teenage prospect Lewis Cook, while at least a further four in the squad have played for them.

There is certainly a lot of pace and tenacity in this team, and Yorkshire football is still going strong after the first ever club in the world Sheffield FC was founded in the White Rose county in 1857.

Other names that didn’t make the XI include Kyle Naughton, Jonathan Woodgate, Stewart Downing, Fraizer Campbell and Cameron Jerome, while perhaps surprisingly Norwich City have no less than five Yorkshire-born players on their books.

Interestingly, most defenders picked for this squad are from the south or north of the county, while midfielders and strikers are largely form the west.