With just three weeks to go until England’s first game at Euro 2020, we are closer to getting to know who will be starting England’s first match against Croatia. Croatia are familiar foes for England, having played each other in the previous World Cup in 2018, when played in the semi-final with Croatia going through to final and ending up as runners-up.
For this summer’s major tournament, England manager Gareth Southgate has a selection headache. Of course, one has to say that there are no major injuries to key players, however Southgate is facing a major dilemma whom to keep out of the starting eleven, especially in the midfield and attacking positions.
England’s probable line up vs Croatia:
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
This will be a very close call for Southgate, but I believe that Pickford will get the nod ahead of Nick Pope who had a better season than Pickford. I believe Southgate will choose Pickford based on his heroics during the previous World Cup in which Pickford starred during England’s run to the semi-final.
Right-back: Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker has started most of England’s recent games in this position ahead of Trent Alexander Arnold. He is better when defending against fast paced wingers. Walker has been brilliant his season, winning the Premier League and reaching the Champions League final with Manchester City. On the other hand, Trent Alexander Arnold has not shown the same performance of last season’s Premier League winning campaign with Liverpool.
Central Defenders: John Stones and Harry Maguire
Easiest decision for Southgate here. John Stones and Harry Maguire will definitely start at the back for England as they are the obvious centre back pairing for England. It is worth mentioning, that if Maguire picks up an injury I expect Southgate to switch to a back three.
Left-back: Luke Shaw
I believe that Luke Shaw will start ahead of Ben Chillwell. Luke Shaw has been consistent for Manchester United this season and he will be a better left back pairing alongside Maguire since that they are teammates at Manchester United.
Central Midfielders: Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson and Mason Mount
I firmly believe that these will be the three starting midfielders against Croatia on June the 13th. Declan Rice has had a fantastic season with West Ham, and he has also played well during the past few matches with England. Mason Mount has also played well with Chelsea this season and he has also featured for England during the qualifiers. Jordan Henderson brings in experience and leadership skills and he will occupy the other midfield spot in the team ahead of Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Jude Bellingham (Dortmund) and Jesse Lingard (West Ham).
Right Winger: Raheem Sterling
Sterling has been one of England’s main men for the past few years. Although he has been benched by Manchester City for the past few months, I still believe that he will be starting ahead of Jadon Sancho (Dortmund).
Centre Forward: Harry Kane
Often referred to as England’s current best player. Harry Kane has been terrific for England during the past few seasons. His ability to score and link the midfield with the attack have made him an automatic starter in Southgate’s starting eleven.
Left Winger: Phil Foden
A lot of you might disagree with this selection and up till a couple of months ago I would have said that Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) will be starting instead. However, Foden’s recent brilliant performances for Manchester City has enhanced his reputation and I believe that his is much more comfortable on the ball than Rashford.