England boss Gareth Southgate will lick his lips at his side’s World Cup draw, with games against the United States, Iran and the possibility of facing Wales or Scotland – depending on the result of their play-off against Ukraine. The Three Lions are one of the favorites to win the tournament for the first time in almost 60 years, and Southgate will have to use the extraordinary talent at their disposal. Express Sport have looked at the five most important players Southgate will call on in Qatar.
Harry Kane is likely to end the year with more England goals than anyone who has donned the famous white shirt, and could end his career having erased the record entirely. Kane is in the form of his life at the moment, and it’s hard to argue that he’s not the best striker in world football.
Kane has embraced the role of England captain and is well and truly irreplaceable. The Tottenham striker will likely feature in the World Cup having already surpassed Wayne Rooney’s record 53 goals, as he only needs four more and still has some Nations League games left.
It’s hard to dampen expectations for Jude Bellingham, and it’s worth remembering that he’s only 18. However, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder is widely expected to be the future of the England squad and could well lead the midfield for the next decade.
Bellingham shone at the European Championships last summer when given the chance, and ran the show against Ivory Coast last week in a friendly win. The midfielder is likely to start in Qatar, provided he continues to impress at club level.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s career in England has been one after another after missing the European Championships with an injury picked up in one of his final warm-up matches. He then missed the last set of friendlies through injury, although his club form should be enough to prove to Southgate that he is the best right-back in the country.
Southgate’s use of wingers shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for Alexander-Arnold, who is the most effective in the opposition half anyway. He just needs to keep in shape and he will surely be one of the first on the team sheet this winter.
Manchester City wonderkid Phil Foden has the unique quality of being able to fill a number of positions, giving Southgate a very welcome question of where to play him. Foden can play as a false nine, a winger or in midfield.
However, against Switzerland in the final round of internationals, he played a more advanced role and got past Kane to cause defensive problems. It’s a role Dele Alli played with great success in 2018, and Foden could play a similar position this year.