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Three ways England could line-up at the World Cup after Gareth Southgate announces squad

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Gareth Southgate has moved early to name the 23 England players that will be on the plane to Russia for the World Cup.

Before everyone started speculating and talking about who will and won’t be included, Southgate took the opportunity to name his squad as early as possible.

There aren’t too many surprises, although there might be a few raised eyebrows at the inclusions of Gary Cahill and Fabian Delph, while Adam Lallana and Jonjo Shelvey - who didn’t even make the five-man reserve list - missed out.

Southgate’s first job is done.

However, picking a starting XI from this 23-man squad is even tougher.

Who starts in goal?

Which formation does he play?

Does he go with both Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy up-front?

Well, we’ve saved Southgate some sleepless nights and drawn up three possible ways England could line-up in Russia.

OPTION ONE

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It's likely that Southgate will go for three at the back and the most likely combination is Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire with Ashley Young and Kieran Tripper as wing-backs. If Southgate does play three at the back, it's highly likely that Jordan Pickford will be the goalkeeper due to his distribution.

Then, in midfield, there is both Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier. This pairing won't be needed in fixtures against Panama and Tunisia but against Belgium and any potential knockout rounds, they could both be playing. Alongside them, Dele Alli beats Jesse Lingard to the third central midfield slot.

Raheem Sterling finds himself in the attacking midfield role where he can pick up the ball and run at the opposition, while Harry Kane edges out Jamie Vardy to the lone striker role.

OPTION TWO

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It's unlikely that Southgate will adopt a diamond formation but, if he does, it could look like this. Jack Butland could start in goal with a solid back four of Walker, Stones, Gary Cahill and Danny Rose.

Henderson just pips Dier to the defensive midfield position with Alli and Lingard ahead of him. Again, Sterling could be the attacking midfielder behind the two strikers - Kane and Vardy.

It's certainly a more attacking line-up.

OPTION 3

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An alternative to the three at the back that Southgate is tipped to play. Again, Pickford starts in goal with the three central defenders as Stones, Maguire and Cahill. This time, Walker and Young are the wing-backs.

Dier and Henderson give the line-up a solid base with Sterling ahead of them both - but can help out defensively as well.

This time, it's Marcus Rashford who partners Kane up-front.

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Topics:
World Cup
Gareth Southgate
Football
England Football
Premier League

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