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Three ways England could line up at World Cup 2022 after Gareth Southgate names his 26-man squad for Qatar

GARETH SOUTHGATE’S long-awaited England squad has finally been unveiled.

The Three Lions boss revealed the 26 players he is taking to Qatar on Thursday afternoon.

Southgate announced his England squad on Thursday
England’s 26-man squad for the World Cup

And it is a special moment for the likes of Callum Wilson, James Maddison and Conor Gallagher who were all included.

But it was heartbreak for the likes of Ivan Toney, Tammy Abraham and James Ward-Prowse who all missed out.

Now attention turns towards the starting line-up and how Southgate will organise the team for the tournament – which begins for England against Iran on November 21.

Here are three starting XIs that could be fielded during the World Cup.

3-4-3 with Maguire, Sterling and Foden but NO Mount or Saka

How England could line up at the World Cup

This is arguably the most likely line-up for England should they come up against a bigger side in the latter stages of the tournament.

Southgate is expected to resort to a back three when faced with more difficult opposition – and that would almost certainly mean Harry Maguire on the left of a back three.

John Stones and Kyle Walker would likely line up alongside him – although Walker is a doubt for the start of the tournament.

Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice seem the obvious choices in central midfield, flanked by Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw.

And then up front Southgate has frequently put trust in Raheem Sterling to play off Harry Kane – with the Chelsea man repaying that faith with three goals at the Euros.

The other spot is up for debate – with Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden expected to be battling it out.

Right now, though, Man City man Foden may just have the edge.


4-3-3 with Mount and Maddison but NO Trippier or Sterling

Another way England could shape up in Qatar

Many believe that for the group stage games Southgate should let the chains off a little and go with a back four.

Fixtures against Iran, USA and Wales will likely present England with the task of trying to break those sides down.

That could mean Walker switches to right-back and Trippier drops out.

Maguire and Stones would likely keep their places – although Eric Dier, Conor Coady and Ben White will be pushing Maguire all the way.

Shaw remains the obvious choice at left-back, with Bellingham and Rice in midfield.

But a three in the middle of the park could see Mason Mount enter the fold – another of Southgate’s most-trusted players.

And then up front the manager could decide to switch things around a bit with Foden swapping to the left and possibly James Maddison coming off the right.

3-4-3 with White, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold and Grealish but NO Maguire, Shaw, Bellingham or Foden

A third way England could line up at the tournament

The final line-up is another 3-4-3 but with a number of changes to the personnel.

Jordan Pickford, Stones, Rice and Kane are the only four who make it into each of SunSport’s three line-ups.

And for this last one we have dropped Maguire – who is coming under fire for his form and lack of minutes at Manchester United.

Dier and White are two of the best-placed defenders to replace the Red Devils captain thanks to their form so far this season.

Trippier is the only other recognisable left wingback option in the squad behind Shaw – and he played there at the Euros.

The cry for Trent Alexander-Arnold to feature is something which will not go away. Southgate may test it out at some point.

Bellingham would seem the natural partner to Rice in midfield, but a returning Kalvin Phillips has thrived in an England shirt and could yet resume his relationship with the West Ham man in front of the defence.

Then in attack, Jack Grealish is another forward player Southgate could turn to if he is looking to unlock a defence, with Saka also very adept at doing the same thing.

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