Squad election for England’s World Cup team is now secured.

England has drawn a pundit-deemed, “favorable” group for the World Cup in Qatar in November. The U.S., Iran, and either Wales, Ukraine, or Scotland will be trying to spoil England’s road to glory.

“It’s coming home!” will be the chant from British supporters as they cheer on their squad of 23 players. Here’s who should be on the very difficult-to-pick team sheet come squad selection day.

Goalkeepers

This threesome was rather easy to select. Three is the magic number for goalkeepers in a tournament squad, and Pickford has been the top choice seemingly over the last couple of years.

Since Ramsdale’s resurgence with Arsenal, he’s climbed the England ladder as well and should be guaranteed a spot, and maybe even a starting spot.

The third choice ‘keeper came down to Pope or Dean Henderson, but with Henderson’s lack of playing time as he sits behind De Gea in a stroke of bad luck, Pope should have the clear edge.

squad selection

Defenders

  • Ben White
  • Luke Shaw
  • Harry Maguire
  • Reece James
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold
  • Kyle Walker
  • Ben Chilwell
  • John Stones

I’ve gone and picked maybe one too many defenders, but the list of top-notch England defenders is so long that going under eight selections would’ve been impossible.

In the center of the defense, I’ve chosen usual starter Harry Maguire and City defender John Stones. The final spot was up for grabs, and I chose Ben White over Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady.

Mings has fallen out of form recently and White has more experience against some of the top players in the world as he trains with them every week. Coady is really good, but I don’t know if he’s done enough to grab a spot over any of the five selected fullbacks.

The fullbacks were a nightmare to choose, so I took them all pretty much. They all impact the game so differently that it’s important to have these game-changers available for selection.

On the left side is Ben Chilwell, who will have a spot if he can regain form after rehabbing his terrible injury. Luke Shaw always plays great with the Three Lions so his spot should be locked up as well.

On the right side is Kyle Walker, a pacey strong, defensive-minded fullback from Manchester City. The position could be filled by Reece James also, a physical and more attacking player who’s strong on the ball and whips in crosses.
Trent Alexander-Arnold doesn’t have the strength of James, but he’s an ultra-attacking back. All three of these guys bring something to the table and being able to have all of them at Southgate’s disposal will be massive.

The England right-back position group is probably the strongest position group of any in the whole tournament.

The one guy I notably left off was Kieran Trippier, who most recently made a January move to Saudi-led Newcastle. I just don’t see him ever getting on the field with these other guys healthy, so what’s the point of him being in the squad. Unlucky for him.

squad selection

Midfielders

  • Declan Rice
  • Jude Bellingham
  • Mason Mount
  • Kalvin Phillips
  • Jordan Henderson

Picking eight defenders meant I had to run short either in attack or in midfield, and I chose to limit the options in midfield. The depth just isn’t there for England, and no more than five guys are ever going to play in a World Cup match anyways, so no need to pick any more.

Rice, Phillips, and Henderson are all more holding players while Mount and Bellingham are much more attacking options. The two attacking midfielders will provide some creativity in attack while the other three guys when they are in, will provide an anchor to switch the ball and to help calm possession.

Rice, Henderson, and Philips can all hit a ball pretty nicely as well and are all strong defensive players.
The main guys I left out here were James Ward-Prowse, Conor Gallagher, and Jesse Lindgard. Lindgard just doesn’t get enough playing time and won’t be in shape to compete at the World Cup.

Gallagher is having an unprecedented season for a loan player. He’s one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and he isn’t even playing for his own team. His selection is going to be the result of incredible form at Chelsea, somewhere else, or an injury to one of the fullbacks.

Ward-Prowse is in a similar position to Gallagher where he may need an injury to force him into the squad The free-kick-taking maestro is in good form though, and he’s always going to be a great utility player if needed.

Attackers

  • Marcus Rashford
  • Jadon Sancho
  • Bukayo Saka
  • Harry Kane
  • Raheem Sterling
  • Phil Foden
  • Jack Grealish

Foden, Sterling, and Kane seem to be the preferred front three, and will all be on the team for sure. Sancho and Saka have also earned the trust of manager Gareth Southgate and will be the primary backup options on the wing.

The other two guys have been in poor form, but have shown to be favored by Southgate over and over again. Grealish provides some midfield experience as well if he needs to slot back there, as the midfield depth may be a bit lighter than anticipated.

Rashford also gives Kane a backup as the number nine if they want to play him there. Having six primary wingers and one forward isn’t usually a great option, but when you have Harry Kane, he’s playing every minute, so no reason to have a backup. If Kane goes down, it’s not going to be pretty anyway.

The guys I didn’t choose were Smith-Rowe, as he’s just too young right now, as well as clear number nine options like Tammy Abraham, Ollie Watkins, and DLC from Everton.

The other forwards haven’t been convincing enough in club form or in country form to earn their spot.

Check out our USMNT Squad selection here!

 


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