Euro 2020: England's best starting XI for opening game vs Croatia

Jack Grealish HAS to start vs Croatia

On Sunday, England’s Euro 2020 campaign kicks off against Croatia.

The Three Lions will be out for revenge after their 2-1 loss to the same nation in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

This time around, England’s squad looks far stronger on paper and they will go into the game against Croatia as the favourites.

READ MORE – Euro 2020: News, Groups, Fixtures, Dates, Tickets, Odds And Everything You Need To Know

But if Gareth Southgate’s side are to prevail at Wembley, the manager will have to pick the right team.

If he trusts the wrong personnel, the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic and Andrej Kramaric will have a field day in the English capital.

However, the right England team can exact revenge on Croatia and after Ben White was called up to the 26-man squad to replace the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold, we’ve provided what we believe is the country’s best XI for Sunday’s clash.

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Not everyone will agree with all 11 selections, but it’s hard to deny that this is a stellar lineup…

Formation: 4-3-3

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford

He’s far from the best in the world, but the Everton man’s experience at international level means he has to start versus Croatia.

Right-back: Kyle Walker

The Manchester City man’s recovery pace is a weapon England need to utilise at Euro 2020, especially against a talented team like Croatia.

Walker with England

Centre-back: John Stones

Probably England’s best centre-back when at his best and if he’s fully fit, Stones needs to start every single game this summer.

Centre-back: Ben White

After earning a spot in the 26-man squad, White should be trusted with a starting role against Croatia – if Harry Maguire is injured. Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings are simply not good enough to start at a major tournament for England, the latter in particular.

Left-back: Luke Shaw

Shaw was the best left-back in the Premier League last season, so starting him on Sunday ahead of Ben Chilwell is a no-brainer in our eyes.

Shaw in action

Defensive-mid: Declan Rice

England were noticeably a far better team when Rice entered the fray against Romania, which is why he has to be one of the first names in the Three Lions’ starting XI.

Centre-mid: Jude Bellingham

Despite being only 17, Bellingham looked right at home in an England shirt during the two warmup games. The teenager brings something different to the midfield and after starting major Champions League games for Dortmund, he almost certainly won’t buckle under pressure either.

Centre-mid: Mason Mount

Mount in a slightly deeper role? Absolutely. With Jordan Henderson clearly not match fit, Mount is the perfect candidate to bolster the midfield and he also offers far more going forward than the Liverpool man.

Mount with England

Right-wing: Phil Foden

Jadon Sancho struggled on the right against Romania and with Raheem Sterling out of form, Foden is the best option on that flank. We were considering Bukayo Saka, but the City man is simply too good to leave out.

Striker: Harry Kane

Do we even need to explain this selection? No, no we don’t.

Left-wing: Jack Grealish

If he’s fit, Grealish starts ahead of Marcus Rashford and plays the full 90 minutes, it’s as simple as that really. No other player in the squad is capable of replicating anything close to what the Villa man produces on the pitch and he will have defenders at Euro 2020 very, very worried.

The England XI
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