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Evaluating England's World Cup Hopes

Gareth Southgate claims he has picked a 23 man squad to excite the nation in Russia.  Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford certainly give England some confidence in attack; however, the exclusion of big names such as Jack Wilshere and Joe Hart came as a shock to some. Joe Hart’s previous failures in major tournaments may have contributed to his exclusion, although Jack Wilshere in his words ‘felt fit, sharp and strong all season’ and believed he should have been included along with many England fans.

One of the highlights of the selection was the inclusion of Liverpool’s Alexander Arnold, aged 19 and played in a Champions League and now a World Cup. A scrutiny is that using Southgate’s methodically Ryan Sessegnon should have been included after being awarded Championship Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season. In addition, Newcastle’s Jojo Shelvey was excluded due to not fitting the style of play, and Southgate claims he has selected better midfielders, despite being in excellent form all season. A midfield with Wilshere, Shelvey and Sessegnon would have definitely given England fair, composure and passing credentials.

Now let’s look at who we have got;

Goalkeepers: Pickford, Butland, Pope

Defenders: Stones, Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Rose, Walker, Alexander Arnold, Trippier, Young

Midfielders: Henderson, Dier, Lingard, Ali, Loftus-Cheek, Delph

Strikers: Kane, Rashford, Welbeck, Vardy, Sterling                                          

Our Pick

Our pick for England’s starting 11 is distinct as it includes a strong attacking force with the creativeness of Ali, the pace and skill of Rashford and Sterling with the finesse of Kane through the middle. When England attack Henderson and Dier can cover the two attacking full backs, as well as distributing the play when passing out of defence – a winning team?

Players to Watch?

We choose Marcus Rashford…

He would pose a constant threat down the left channel linking well with Rose, whilst displaying confidence dribbling and finishing as we saw against Costa Rica – a game winner.

How far can England go?

I think it is fair to say that England will get through the group stages, but from there…Last 16? Quarter Final? Semi-Final? As England fans we always have hope of going through to the final and repeating 1966, realistically on paper that’s not possible but when was a football match ever won on paper. Surely if Leicester City can win the Premier League, the Three Lions can bring the World Cup home.

COME ON ENGLAND!

Image Credit: https://www.standard.co.uk