The Three Lions dominated against the team that knocked them out of the World Cup three years ago. Raheem Sterling’s second-half goal was enough for Gareth Southgate’s side to begin the group stage with three points.
Southgate’s team selection against Croatia raised questions ahead of kick-off, but after the impressive performance opinions were changed. Now with a different challenge ahead, will the England boss stick or twist with his winning starting line-up?
Jordan Pickford is expected to keep his spot in goal after keeping a clean sheet in the opening game.
The Three Lions’ number one is likely to start all games throughout the Euros ahead of Sam Johnstone and new addition to the squad Aaron Ramsdale. Ramsdale replaced Dean Henderson after the Manchester United goalkeeper failed to recover from an injury.
At right-back, Kyle Walker may start once again. The Manchester City defender performed well against Croatia and seems to be Southgate’s preferred choice at full-back. Reece James will be hoping for some rotation as he aims for a chance to make the position his own.
Kieran Trippier was handed a surprise start at left-back despite the squad including Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw. After a solid performance, he could be favourite to start again with his threat from set-pieces a key reason as to why.
The centre-back pairing of John Stones and Tyrone Mings are expected to start with Harry Maguire only just returning to training. Maguire has declared himself fit for Friday’s game but the chances of the defender being thrown straight into action are slim.
Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips were superb in the midfield for Southgate’s side on Sunday afternoon. Phillips’ performance could be considered as a break-out after providing the assist for Sterling and dominating Croatia, patrolling the middle of the pitch.
Rice also played a key role in the victory, sitting deep and breaking up attacks. His role in the midfield helped to free up Phillips and England will hope to continue to develop this partnership if they start together again against Scotland.
Mason Mount struggled to get into the game last time out but Southgate is likely to start with him again in an advanced role. Mount may get more space to create chances this time around, giving him the opportunity to be a lot more effective.
Captain Harry Kane will undoubtedly start up front for the Three Lions. Kane had a quiet game in front of goal against Croatia, dropping deep to pick up the ball and take part in build-up play.
His movement helped create space for Sterling to get his goal, proving that he still plays a key part in the system even if his involvement on the ball is limited. After many doubted the decision to start Sterling on Sunday, the Manchester City winger proved them wrong.
His goal claimed the three points and his direct running in behind helped to stretch a strong Croatian defence. He is likely to be rewarded with another start and will aim to put in another impressive performance at Wembley.
Foden was preferred to Grealish in the opening game and the Premier League winner lived up to expectations, hitting the post in the first half and looking lively throughout.
Grealish would have felt hard done by to have started on the bench after being the stand-out performer during the friendlies ahead of the tournament. The Aston Villa man could well come in to replace Foden but if he is once again left as a substitute he will seek to have an impact on the game if he is handed some minutes.
Predicted Starting Line-Up
Pickford; Walker, Stones, Mings, Trippier; Rice, Phillips; Foden, Mount, Sterling; Kane