Coral look at England’s likely starting XI in Russia
Three Lions qualified last week
With another qualifying campaign safely negotiated, England can start looking forward to next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Gareth Southgate’s side secured qualification with a win against Slovenia at Wembley last week.
Attention now turns to which players from the squad will make the starting XI at the World Cup next year. The Coral News Team take a look at England’s like starting line-up in Russia…
GK – Jack Butland
With Joe Hart proving inconsistent, it’s Stoke City’s Jack Butland that gets the nod in goal. The 24-year-old has been blighted by injury over the past 18 months but returned to England action at the weekend with an assured performance against Lithuania.
His form for the Potters has also been exceptional. With question marks hanging over Hart, it’s time to turn to a new number one in Russia.
LWB – Danny Rose
His season has been ruined by injured so far but Danny Rose is almost certain to start in the left wing-back position. The Tottenham full-back shone last season and was the subject of interest from Manchester United in the summer.
He compliments Walker on the right. And crucially he adds to the strong Spurs influence in the side.
CB – Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill is England’s most experienced player. The Chelsea captain is the senior figure within the team and as such is a crucial element within the group dynamic.
Alongside a younger partner, Cahill is still the best option at centre-half for the Three Lions.
CB – John Stones
Pep Guardiola’s influence is starting to take effect – and in a positive way. The Manchester City centre-half is the man that the defence must be built around going forward. Now, he is beginning to match his quality with the ball alongside the decision making that makes a solid defensive player.
With every game that passes he is growing as a defender. By the time next summer’s World Cup comes around, the Coral News Team are expecting Stones to be the real deal.
RWB – Kyle Walker
Walker is one of the best wing-backs in world football at the moment. His attacking quality gives England real purpose down the right.
The 27-year-old also has pace to burn. And that means that even when exposed defensively, he has the quality to track back and avert the danger.
CM – Eric Dier
The Tottenham ace’s involvement is crucial in providing a screen for the defence. He has been one of England’s top performers in the last 18 months and is best when deployed at the base of the midfield.
If Southgate’s men are to have a good tournament, Dier will need to be at the top of his game.
CM – Jordan Henderson
Much like Cahill, Jordan Henderson provides the key experience in the middle of the park. On top of that, he is assured on the ball and has the ability to control the play.
He’s a likely starter as England try to find a balance between their defensive and attacking qualities.
CAM – Dele Alli
England’s most creative player has his position secure at the top of the midfield. Key for the Three Lions is Alli’s understanding with Harry Kane.
If the pair can link up for their country like they do for their club then Southgate could be on to a winner.
LAM – Adam Lallana
Adam Lallana’s influence on this England team cannot be understated. For large parts of the 2016-17 season, he was the Three Lions’ best player.
He may be injured at the moment but there can be no doubting the Liverpool ace’s importance when fit. In what could be a positive for England, Lallana’s late start to the current season could keep him fresh in preparation for Russia next summer.
ST – Harry Kane
Harry Kane is probably the first name on Gareth Southgate’s teamsheet. Arguably, he is England’s only world-class player.
If provided with good service in Russia next year Kane could elevate himself to new levels of greatness.
RAM – Marcus Rashford
Rashford is slowly starting to come into his own for club and country. He showed great character in scoring against Slovakia last month at Wembley.
And for Manchester United, he’s beginning to establish himself as a consistent performer. He’s a huge danger coming in from the wing for England and remains a relatively unknown quantity on the international stage.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing