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England's Predicted XI for the World Cup opener

Read Sport logo Read Sport 16/05/2018 Ashley Colbourn
England Media Access © Catherine Ivill/Getty Images Sport England Media Access

This summer’s World Cup is edging ever closer, with hosts Russia kicking off the tournament against Saudi Arabia on June 14th.

Excitement is building by the day, and England fans now know who will be representing the nation as manager Gareth Southgate has announced his 23-man squad that will fly out to Russia in a few weeks time.

There were a number of calls that Southgate had to make across the squad, which all relied heavily upon the formation he wishes to deploy against the world’s elite.

It looks like he will favour a 3-4-1-2 set-up with wing-backs providing the width and the two central-midfielders holding the fort in front of the back four.

19-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold has received his first senior call-up after an impressive debut season with Liverpool, whilst experienced centre-back Gary Cahill returns to the squad having missed out last time.

Other notable absentees include Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, Manchester City’s Joe Hart, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand.

One key decision Southgate will have to make is who starts in goal, with three strong contenders being named in Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Jack Butland.

This is how we think England will line up for their first Group F match, against Tunisia, on June 18th…

England's Predicted XI for the World Cup opener: This summer’s World Cup is edging ever closer, with hosts Russia kicking off the tournament against Saudi Arabia on June 14th.Excitement is building by the day, and England fans now know who will be representing the nation as manager Gareth Southgate has announced his 23-man squad that will fly out to Russia in a few weeks time.There were a number of calls that Southgate had to make across the squad, which all relied heavily upon the formation he wishes to deploy against the world’s elite.It looks like he will favour a 3-4-1-2 set-up with wing-backs providing the width and the two central-midfielders holding the fort in front of the back four.19-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold has received his first senior call-up after an impressive debut season with Liverpool, whilst experienced centre-back Gary Cahill returns to the squad having missed out last time.Other notable absentees include Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, Manchester City’s Joe Hart, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand.One key decision Southgate will have to make is who starts in goal, with three strong contenders being named in Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Jack Butland.This is how we think England will line up for their first Group F match, against Tunisia, on June 18th… England's Predicted XI for the World Cup opener
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