Destination Russia - Who will make the England World Cup squad?
As the build-up continues to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, talk has intensified about who will make the final England squad, and right now there appears to be many different options open to manager Gareth Southgate. While England are not amongst the favourites, they do have an outside chance of going far in this tournament. Look for them to include a mixture of experienced players and younger players who are going to play in their first tournament this summer.
The core of the England squad looks fairly well set, with a whole host of recognisable names making that up. These players will be vital if England are to have any success in Russia, and these players all have experience of playing football for England. Forward Harry Kane will probably be the first name on the squad sheet, closely followed by his team mates Dele Alli and Eric Dier. Elsewhere, England will inject pace into their game thanks to three players currently playing in Manchester, Raheem Sterling of City and Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard from United.
Defenders John Stones, Kyle Walker and goalkeepers Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford look to be certain of a place in the defensive line up, and it will be interesting to see who joins them, and how the balance between experience and youth looks across the back line.
The most interesting names are those who right now are not sure whether they will make it or not. In a couple of recent friendlies, Southgate took the opportunity to try out many new players, giving them the chance to earn a seat on the plane. Players like James Tarkowski and Alfie Mawson will both be eyeing a spot at centre back, and they have done nothing wrong playing in the Premier League this season. Experienced heads Phil Jones and Gary Cahill stand in their way, and it will be interesting to see which way Gareth Southgate decides to go. The most likely scenario is that one experienced player makes it, alongside one inexperienced younger player.
Further up the field, England have exactly the same problem when it comes to whether they should take promising youngsters or experienced players. Do they take a risk on someone like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, or do they take Jack Wilshire who has been there and done it before both for club and country. When it comes to attacking options, will England choose to go with a presence up front, someone like Danny Welbeck who can play in a similar role to Harry Kane, or do they opt for pace once again and take Theo Walcott. Away from Kane, England look very small in attack, and that may work in Welbeck’s favour, and that could be the reason he is taken to Russia, to try and make an impact off the bench.
There are still many questions the England manager Gareth Southgate has to answer, but time is ticking and he must finalise his 23 man squad soon.
Bet365 have a full list of betting on who will make the final squad.
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