This should be Gareth Southgate’s England starting X1

England beat Nigeria 2-1 in the first of their friendly games.

The team was : Pickford, Trippier, Young, Walker, Stones, Cahill, Lingard, Dier, Kane, Sterling, Alli.

Our subs were: Rose, Butland, Maguire, Delph, Livermore, Loftus-Cheek, Lallana, Vardy, Rashford, Welbeck, Pope, Heaton.

After that 2-1 victory Southgate made 10 changes and beat Costa Rica 2-0 with goals by Rashford (13)  and Welbeck( 76) and Rashford was the Man of the Match.

His three goals for England have all come when he’s started.

Myself, I was annoyed and dismayed when Southgate made 10 changes.

BUT  IT WORKED.

Any manager will take a 2-0 win in his last match before flying out to a World Cup.

What is Marcus Rashford?  Where should he play?

Well, Rashford is a power player. He’s big and fast and young and loves to shoot from distance. He’s at his best when coming in from the left side.

Southgate said he was pleased that the lad had enjoyed the Costa Rica game  and played with a real swagger.

“As a Man United player he got booed at the start, and he was cheered off at the end. That tells you about his performance and I’m really pleased for him. His linking was good, his individuality was good, and it was a wonderful strike for the goal. Sometimes we forget how young he is.”

After the that victory, Southgate was asked: “Do you know your starting eleven for the Tunisia game?”

His diplomatic reply was, “I’m going to sleep on it.”

Now that Engand are in Russia, preparing for the Tunisia game, it’s time to name my starting eleven.

NB. This isn’t the team I think Southgate will pick. 

I’m convinced he will start Jordan Henderson, his regular vice-captain and pivot midfielder.

During the tournament, maybe after we’ve beaten Tunisia and Panama, this is the starting eleven that could give the talented Belgians a game.

There will be times when we want John Stones to bring the ball out and become a playmaker, and that’s when Eric Dier can slot back into defence for five minutes.

                ENGLAND 3-5-2

  ____________________________________________________

                    Pickford 

       Walker Stones Maguire

Trippier Lingard Dier Alli  Rose

            Kane Rashford