Harry Maguire will start in a back four against Iran in England’s World Cup opener. Maguire has so far made just one Premier League start since September; Jude Bellingham likely to play as Gareth Southgate opts for a 4-3-3 formation; reports also suggest Bukayo Saka is to start ahead of Phil Foden
Harry Maguire set to start England World cup opener in a back Four against Iran as Gareth Southgate set for a 4-3-3
With Southgate’s change of formation,that means there is space for an extra midfielder in the starting XI, with Jude Bellingham likely to make his first World Cup start.
Reports elsewhere also suggest that Bukayo Saka will get to start ahead of Phil Foden on the right wing.
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Harry Maguire’s inclusion caused a lot of controversy, considering he made just one Premier League start since September. but the Manchester United defender has been instrumental in England‘s last two major tournaments.
The 29-year-old played a key role in the Three Lions’ 2018 World Cup semi-final run and was then also named in the team of the tournament as England finished runners-up at Euro 2020.
Starting Bellingham will be less contentious with the 19-year-old enjoying an outstanding season at Borussia Dortmund with nine goals in 22 appearances in all competitions this campaign.
James Madisson and Kyle Walker will miss England opener at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.
Walker is still recovering from a groin surgery, while Madisson hasn’t trained since arriving in Qatar after picking up a knee problem.
Southgate: “Our challenge is to give our supporters a tournament that’s memorable. We have taken them on fantastic journeys in our lives to tournaments.