England go head-to-head with Tunisia on Monday in their first match of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Three Lions manager appears to have already settled on his starting line-up and reports suggest there are a few surprise players amongst it.
On Friday, The Times leaked England’s probable eleven. Nine players are set to be handed their World Cup debuts in Gareth Southgate’s preferred 3-3-2-2 formation.
Goalkeeper and defence
Jordan Pickford – The Everton number one seems to have emerged as England’s number one after appearing in a majority of the pre-World Cup friendlies.
Kyle Walker - The Manchester City full back has taken up a new role for his national team, playing as one of three central defenders. The Yorkshireman will certainly give England a lot more pace at the back.
John Stones - Walker’s Manchester City teammate will line up in the centre of the defensive trio. Stones signed for City for a fee in the region of £50 million pounds back in the summer of 2016 but has been a rare starter in Pep Guardiola’s side.
Harry Maguire – The Leicester defender has had a superb 2017/18 season, one of many reasons why he is set to feature in Gareth Southgate’s side.
Kieran Tripper – Tottenham's Kieran Tripper will start as England’s right wing back edging out Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. He'll likely feel lucky that Walker is featuring at centre-back, giving him a fairly easy path to the first team given TAA's inexperience.
Ashley Young – The Manchester United full back will play to the left of Harry Maguire ahead of fan’s favourite Danny Rose. Young will certainly give England a different option when going forward.
Jordan Henderson - The Liverpool skipper will play in his favoured role as England’s holding midfielder, having seemingly been preferred to Eric Dier in a straight shoot-out between the two.
Jesse Lingard - Attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard will play to the right of Henderson in a more advanced role and will be looking to replicate his recent Manchester United form.
Dele Alli - Tottenham star Alli will play alongside Lingard [to Henderson’s left] hoping to unlock the Tunisia defence.
Raheem Sterling: City starlet Sterling has stolen the headlines for off-field reasons over the past few weeks, but is a key man and finished the season as fifth top goal scorer in the Premier League with 18 goals.
Harry Kane: Three Lions captain Harry Kane will partner Sterling up top. The Spurs striker scored 30 Premier League goals this campaign and is widely regarded as England's best player and biggest hope of tournament success.