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Gareth Southgate.

Gareth Southgate knows how he wants England's XI to look for 2018 World Cup

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Having successfully navigated their way through World Cup qualifying, England's players will now turn their attentions to next month's draw to discover their fate.

Gareth Southgate's men will be in Pot 2 alongside Spain, Switzerland, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia and Peru, none of whom they can face in the group stages.

Judging by FIFA's world rankings, the best case for scenario for England would be drawing hosts Russia, Senegal and Saudi Arabia in their group.

Worst case scenario, the Three Lions will face holders Germany, Costa Rica and Nigeria, although Brazil, Sweden and Japan would be just as tough.

Southgate has seven months to prepare his players and decide who will be part of his 23-man squad to take to Russia.

More importantly, the England manager must go into the tournament with a good idea of who his starting line-up will be.

That's no easy task with so many players to choose from but according to the Daily Mail, Southgate has already decided on a rough XI and formation, providing there are no injuries.

He plans on using 3-5-2 so that England are hard to break down defensively but deadly going forward.

Eric Dier will be used in a centre-back three alongside John Stones and Phil Jones, while Jordan Henderson is expected to start in defensive midfield.

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Kyle Walker and Danny Rose will then occupy the flanks in wing-back positions and Harry Kane, unsurprisingly, will start upfront.

Harry Winks and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are then the shock contenders for one midfield spot considering they've only made one senior appearance each, though Winks is slightly ahead.

As for Joe Hart - well, to pick the out-of-form West Ham goalkeeper over Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland would be criminal. Here's Southgate's proposed line-up in full:

Joe Hart; John Stones, Eric Dier, Phil Jones; Kyle Walker, Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Harry Winks, Danny Rose; Dele Alli, Harry Kane.

England Media Access

Southgate's preferred XI places doubt on the likes of Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who are all fighting for places.

On current form, Walcott and Lingard could be the ones to miss out, while Jack Wilshere's future with England remains very much in the air.

Danny Drinkwater could also miss the cut on the 23-man squad after rejecting a call-up last week through injury, which Southgate didn't take kindly to.

The Chelsea midfielder told England's manager he didn't feel match-fit, despite playing 22 minutes during the 1-0 win over Manchester United.

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Topics:
Eric Dier
Raheem Sterling
Jack Wilshere
Theo Walcott
Jordan Henderson
Football
Marcus Rashford
Gareth Southgate
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

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