Table of Contents Hide
GARETH SOUTHGATE has already admitted the pressure of picking an England squad for a major tournament almost saw him snub the job.
But now he must somehow decide on choosing a starting XI from his 26-strong list of elite-level talent.
This is how England lined up in their final warm-up friendly but there are expected to be changes come SundayCredit: Getty
Ben White has come in as a late replacement for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold to complete the final group.
Southgate’s two certainties are his captain and striker Harry Kane will lead the line while Jordan Pickford is going to be in goal.
But other than that, there are plenty of different options at the Three Lions boss’ disposal, both in terms of personnel and shape, ahead of their curtain-raiser against Croatia on Sunday…
England XI 1
This is probably the most likely option for Southgate with John Stones and Harry Maguire as a centre-back pairing in a 4-2-3-1 between Chelsea pair Reece James and Ben Chilwell at full-back.
Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson would sit in midfield, allowing Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish to cause carnage behind Kane.
WIN £50,000 with Dream Team Euros
Dream Team Euros is HERE!
The best fantasy football game to accompany Euro 2020 has arrived.
And you can play absolutely FREE for your chance to win the £50,000 jackpot.
Dream Team Euros
- £50,000 jackpot
- The best fantasy football game this summer
- Play in mini-leagues against your mates, colleagues, family members – and some hand-picked celebrities
- FREE to play
England XI 2
With so many options at full-back, it could instead be Kyle Walker and Luke Shaw in there while fitness concerns over Harry Maguire and Henderson may see White, Jude Bellingham and/or Kalvin Phillips start.
A changed-up attacking trio of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden would be equally as destructive.
England XI 3
Moving to a 4-3-3, this arguably may well be the ‘strongest’ team Southgate can name with Kieran Trippier at right-back alongside Stones, Maguire and Chilwell.
A midfield three of Mount, Henderson and Foden could operate behind a front three of Rashford, Kane and Grealish – although the tournament experience of Sterling is another option.
England XI 4
Southgate used a back three or five in Russia and could certainly dip back into a change in formation again which could see James, Walker, Maguire, Tyrone Mings and Shaw across the defence.
In front, it may be a three in midfield – possibly Bellingham, Phillips and Grealish – with Sancho supporting Kane up front, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin settles for a place on the bench.
England XI 5
Finally, another variation could see Dean Henderson given a surprise place in goal – with Sam Johnstone unlikely to be used.
Trippier, Walker, Conor Coady, White and Bukayo Saka at the back and the reliable duo of Rice and Henderson in front – that would provide a solid base for Sterling, Kane and Grealish to push on and do damage in attack.
Gareth Southgate must try and find his best XI from the 26 stars availableCredit: Getty