The Starting XI England Should Play at the 2018 World Cup

The buildup to Russia 2018 is underway, but with the World Cup only around six months away, Gareth Southgate doesn't appear to know his best eleven or even who the captain should be. 


With that in mind, here's the starting eleven Southgate should go with for the tournament in a 4-3-3 formation.

1. GK - Jordan Pickford (Everton)

With Joe Hart no longer the formidable figure he once was, 23-year-old Jordan Pickford has emerged as one of the Premier League's top English keepers and fully earned his call up to the squad.


His start to his career at Everton may not have gone as planned, but the young Geordie has certainly saved the Toffees from further humiliation and impressed on his debut against Germany. Certainly England's best available keeper at the moment.

2. RB - Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

At Tottenham, Walker emerged into one of the Premier League's best right backs with his electric pace, ability to get into goalscoring positions and set up goals as well as do a stellar job at the back.


He's only got better at City and has firmly established himself as England's first choice right back with some superb displays, playing a huge part in his club's impressive start to the season. A no brainer for this position.

3. CB - Joe Gomez (Liverpool)

Certainly a bold choice for the youngster, but in a fledgling Liverpool defence this season Joe Gomez has shown to be able to hold his own in pressuring situations. He was outstanding against Brazil on Tuesday and in truth £200m Neymar struggled against Gomez's physical style of play.


His level of composure and rather intense style of defending is what England need on a stage where they often crumble, and what better than a talented, hungry young player who is making a real statement of intent for both club and country after some impressive displays.

4. CB - Phil Jones (Manchester United)

Arguably Man Utd's strongest defensive performer this season, whether he's a regular in Russia could depend on his fitness after some injury issues this season which have seen him go down quite often.


When fit though, Jones is another who offers a physical, in your face style, which gets the defensive job done to great effect. Alongside Joe Gomez, England have two physical brutes who can bully some of the more skilful attackers who will be looking to outpace them and offer Gareth Southgate an old fashioned defensive style with two eager defenders in great form.

5. LB - Danny Rose (Tottenham)

He may have had some injury issues this season, but Danny Rose has established himself as one of the Premier League's finest left backs and his partnership on opposing flanks with Kyle Walker last season made Spurs one of the most fearsome sides in the league.


That partnership should certainly be utilised in Russia too, especially with some of the exciting forwards Gareth Southgate's side posses. Like fellow full back Kyle Walker, Rose can bomb forward with his electrifying pace, delivers excellent crosses and can pop up with the odd goal here and there.


However, the left back spot is one of the more competitive positions in the side with Ryan Bertrand and even Ashley Young in contention, so game time from now until May is crucial for 27-year-old Rose to seal his spot in Gareth Southgate's side.

6. CM - Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)

Jordan Henderson may not be the most creative or even entertaining player, but has the ability to drop back, work very hard and find a killer pass when it's required. 


The Liverpool captain has often come under criticism for being a one dimensional player, but his sort of work rate is what could allow his more attacking midfield partners to get forward and do what they do best, and if anything his determined attitude and Duracell style work rate should be an inspiration to his teammates to put a shift in and get the results needed.

7. CM - Harry Winks (Tottenham)

The progression of 21-year-old Harry Winks is a testament to Spurs' development of young English talent. As well as already breaking into the Three Lions side, Winks has really impressed in huge games against Liverpool and Real Madrid and offers a fine passing range and unbelievable composure for someone of his (in)experience.


A player who is able to offer cover in both defensive and attacking midfield, Winks is a great example of what England have missed over the last ten years or so. He's versatile, calm on the ball and confident against the world's best and it's a big reason why he needs to be in the first eleven in Russia.

8. CAM - Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace, on Loan From Chelsea)

He may be a newbie to the England senior team, but Palace loanee Loftus-Cheek shows exactly what England need in today's climate. At just 21, he's already proven himself in superb performances against Germany and Brazil that he offers flair, a hunger to win and creativity not really seen in an England midfield since the days of Gerrard and Beckham.


England's success at youth level in recent months suggests that the younger players are the ones to watch rather than the first team, and Loftus-Cheek's progress already in his career is a big reason to why Gareth Southgate should look to youth and determination rather than experience and profile for his starting eleven.

9. RW - Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

There isn't much that 22-year-old Raheem Sterling doesn't offer in the right wing position. Pace, flair, skill and an ability to run in behind a defence, make him one of the Premier League's most feared attackers.


What will make Gareth Southgate even more intrigued, or at least it should, is his improvement in front of goal this season. In just 15 games for Man City this season, he's already equaled his tally of 10 for the whole of last season and that's because of his mazy runs to get into goalscoring positions and his new found composure in front of goal.


A serious no brainer for Gareth Southgate as he has a winger here who will strike fear into any defender's heart at the World Cup.

10. ST - Harry Kane (Tottenham)

The man who should also be appointed permanent England captain, there was never going to be anyone else leading the line. The Premier League golden boot winner in both of the last two seasons, Kane is one of the world's most lethal finishers and has shown that again with some brilliant displays for Spurs once more this season, especially against some real quality opposition.


It's no wonder Real Madrid are keen on him, and quite simply there is no better English striker in the Premier League who offers the same impact as Kane. 

11. LW - Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Even under the horrific reign of Roy Hodgson, young Marcus Rashford proved to be one of England's most exciting prospects, he was hungry to win and if anything should have been a regular in a messy Euro 2016 campaign.


Even more experienced now, Rashford has progressed even further under Jose Mourinho and has added to his already impressive set of skills, such as becoming somewhat of a set piece specialist, improving in front of goal and become a skilful, unpredictable winger.


Like Sterling, Rashford can easily strike fear into any defender with his finishing, set piece ability, mazy runs and his unpredictability. An absolute no brainer for Gareth Southgate, really.


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