England are intensifying their preparations for the 2022 World Cup and the question remains as to which of the English teams should start in the Euro 2020 final in Qatar.
There are less than six months until Senegal and the Netherlands open the 2022 World Cup at Al Thumama Stadium.
England’s campaign begins three hours later when they take on Iran in the first of their six Group B games.
The World Cup comes almost a year and a half after the Three Lions reached the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
Gareth Southgate’s side had surprised fans with an entertaining run to the final at Wembley Stadium, with most of the starting XI enjoying brilliant tournaments of their own.
However, an exciting summer has been followed by some poor seasons for a number of England stars and they could now face being dropped from the World Cup team.
We take a look at England’s starting XI for Euro 2020 and decide who should start or be replaced in November’s opener against Iran…
Jordan Pickford didn’t have too much competition for his place at the Euro 2020 tournament and Gareth Southgate’s faith in him has certainly paid off after another impressive tournament.
Aaron Ramsdale’s performances this season have raised questions about whether he could replace Pickford for England, but Southgate is likely to remain true to his tried-and-true option.
While Everton have had an incredibly poor campaign, Pickford has been brilliant and unfairly criticized by those outside of the Toffees fan base.
Furthermore, the 28-year-old has been an exception in the England shirt since the 2018 World Cup and has certainly done nothing wrong in losing his spot.
Kieran Trippier – OUT
While Kieran Trippier didn’t fare badly at the Euros, the sole reason for his inclusion seemed to be his free-kick ability.
England have a string of brilliant right-backs and there is no doubt Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James will be battling for the starting position.
The Liverpool defender cuts for me and I think the Three Lions could definitely use his cross in the team, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if James was there from the start either.
Kyle Walker – OUT
Walker played in central defense against Italy as we were three in defence, while he spent most of the tournament on the right side of a back four.
If we played back against three in our first World Cup game I would put Walker in the starting XI but I would be surprised if Southgate went in that formation against Iran.
With one defender less on the pitch, I would put Phil Foden in midfield.
The 22-year-old was sidelined for the Euro 2020 final and I’m sure the game could have gone very differently had he started.
I like John Stones for both Man City and England and I don’t think the question would be if he would be there, but who would play alongside him.
With so much debate surrounding Southgate’s other centre-back options, it seems like Stones’ position will be pretty safe.
It’s a very difficult recording and my heart has been saying for months that Harry Maguire should not be on the England team for anything.
The defender has been terrible for Manchester United this season and if he played like that for the Three Lions he wouldn’t stand a chance.
However, Maguire is actually very good for the international team and I have no complaints about how he has fared in the last two major tournaments.
My only problem with that is that it means Fikayo Tomori wouldn’t be there, but I think experience is invaluable and the AC Milan centre-back would have to settle for a spot on the bench on this occasion.
Luke Shaw – OUT
Despite our growing number of right-backs, we’re not quite as strong on the left.
While Shaw was one of our best players at Euro, he had another poor season for United this season.
Ben Chilwell has been out through injury for most of the season but I think he has become a much more reliable defender than Shaw and I would prefer him to start for England at the World Cup when he is fit.
Declan Rice’s recording is one of the easiest.
The West Ham midfielder was absolutely superb for England last summer and has been even better this season as David Moyes’ side thrived in both the Premier League and Europa League.
He will no doubt be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Kalvin Phillips – OUT
Phillips was another player who had a brilliant Euro 2020 tournament but he has spent most of this season injured and that will likely affect his role in the World Cup.
There have been a number of midfielders who have excelled in Phillips’ absence and personally I would like to see Jude Bellingham taking his place.
The teenager has shown his quality for Borussia Dortmund and has continued to shine for England despite being just 18 years old.
Mason Mount – OFF
This is debatable given Mount’s constant presence in the England line-up, but I have a couple of reasons why I think he should be benched.
The Chelsea man has had an excellent season domestically but I think he’s underperforming in international games.
Although England had a very good Euro tournament I don’t think Mount had a big impact on it and I think we could benefit a lot more from someone like Bukayo Saka.
The Arsenal winger also had a stellar season, looking very positive most of the time while playing for England.
Also, I think Foden and Mount would both be better off in the attacking midfield position, which could only be occupied by one player, and I would prefer Foden to be given a chance.
Raheem Sterling will most likely be one of the first on Southgate’s squad list.
His performances at the European Championship showed that he doesn’t need to play really well to make an impact, having scored three crucial goals en route to the final.
It can be frustrating at times to see him in an England shirt but I think we would struggle a lot without him in the squad.
Harry Kane – A
This doesn’t really need to be explained.
One of the best strikers in world football, Harry Kane has consistently impressed for England – even if he was often from the penalty spot.
While the Tottenham striker was not at his best, Tammy Abraham was the only other striker to even feature in the starting XI thanks to a brilliant debut season in Rome.
Final Starting XI
Pickford; Alexander-Arnold, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell; Rice, Bellingham, Foden; Saka, Sterling, Kane.