England coach Gareth Southgate has already revealed his highly-anticipated final 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar last Thursday, with many expected selections being chosen and players such as Fikayo Tomori from AC Milan, Jadon Sancho from Manchester United, Tammy Abraham from AS Roma, etc. being the biggest England stars to be dropped out of the plane to the first World Cup during the winter season.
England national football team is drawn to the same group as Iran, the United States of America and Wales in Group B. With the England squad announced, many have been pouring to the internet to see whether Gareth Southgate has picked his ideal starting 11 that will play a big part to bring football home after successful runs in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia (4th Place) and 2020 UEFA European Football Championship (2nd Place). According to the usual tactics and formation Gareth Southgate preferred in the past, we might be seeing this starting lineup for England’s group fixtures.
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
The Everton shot stopper has been England’s no. 1 for goalkeeping duties since the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, playing a pivotal role in England’s success in recent years, including only conceding two goals in seven matches during the 2020 UEFA Euro Finals. In Qatar later this month, it is no surprise that Pickford will be deployed again to guard the England goal.
Defence: Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Luke Shaw
With the luxury of wingbacks, Southgate has been known to play a five-man defence, especially when England plays tough opponents in major tournaments. Nonetheless, with injuries to Chelsea duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell, the England gaffer is likely to boost the team’s lineup with a more attacking approach by having a four-man defensive lineup. Two players from both sides of Manchester will likely carry the weight of the England defence.
Midfield: Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount, Declan Rice
Mount and Rice were a solid combination to push England to a runner-up finish in Wembley last year, and they will continue to be part of Southgate’s plan to go one step further in a major tournament this time. On the other hand, with questions being raised about Kalvin Phillips’ fitness level, having only played 14 minutes in the entire season so far for his new club, Manchester City, Jude Bellingham is potentially getting the nod to fill Southgate’s three-man midfield in Qatar.
Attack: Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford
Harry Kane is the untouchable guy in Gareth Southgate’s attack force, and he will be potentially joined by two in-form players in Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford. Both players have missed important penalties against Italy in the 2020 UEFA Euro Final, but they have been looking like their old selves this season, contributing plenty of goals and assists for their respective clubs. Even if their chemistry does not gel with the Tottenham Hotspurs’ talisman, Southgate will have the rich options of attackers available from the bench, including Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and James Maddison.
Do you think that this is the strongest lineup that England can put on for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar?
(Photo Credits: Sports Illustrated)