Gareth Southgate decides England starting XI for World Cup opener against Tunisia
England boss Gareth Southgate appears to have settled on his starting XI for the Three Lions World Cup opening match against Tunisia on Monday evening.
There were still a number of question marks over how England would line up for their Group G clash in Volgograd, with several key positions still up for grabs in both defence and midfield.
However, Southgate addressed his players during a behind-closed-doors training session on Thursday, after the cameras had left, and now looks to have determined his team.
According to the Daily Mail, England played an 11-a-side match in which players now expected to start against Tunisia were all handed bibs.
Much of the team was as expected, with Kyle Walker and John Stones in defence, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard the attacking roles in midfield and Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling up top.
One major area of competition has been the holding midfield role, with Southgate expected to field just one defence-minded player against Tunisia.
Eric Dier appeared to be ahead in the pecking order, but it seems as though Jordan Henderson will get the nod – a decision that has been made easier by a thigh problem the Tottenham man is managing.
Kieran Trippier and Ashley Young will line up in the wing-back roles, edging out Danny Rose and Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Harry Maguire claims the third centre-back spot.
Meanwhile, Jordan Pickford has claimed the No.1 jersey and will start between the sticks, with nine players making their World Cup debut in Southgates young and inexperienced team.
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