England starting XI: How Southgate's side would look if picked solely on form

England starting XI: How Southgate's side would look if picked solely on form

England came within a whisker of landing their first-ever European Championships trophy over the summer when they were narrowly beaten by Italy on penalties in the final of Euro 2020.

Having come so close to glory, it’s only natural that England boss Gareth Southgate has shown loyalty to those involved in the tournament during the fixtures that have come since.

It must be said, however, that several of England’s Euro 2020 heroes have endured a noticeable dip in form over the past few months.

In fact, if Southgate’s line-ups for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino were to be based solely on club performances since the start of the season, then there is a good possibility that many of those involved over the summer might be watching on from the sidelines.

Among those not to live up to their Euro 2020 exploits for their Premier League teams so far this term are England’s front-line pairing of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane. Between them, the duo have struck just twice in the English top-flight this season.

It’s a similar story in behind elsewhere around the pitch, to the point that talkSPORT have put together a full England side based on recent form – and there’s a noticeable absence of established names.

How England’s starting XI would look if based solely on form

Aaron Ramsdale has been in fantastic form for Arsenal in recent weeks


Jordan Pickford has been a regular in between the sticks for the Three Lions for some time now. With only three clean sheets in 12 for Everton this term, though, he can hardly be described as a man in good form.

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale – on the other hand – has been in sparkling touch since joining the Gunners from Sheffield United, turning in a whole host of fine performances for his new club. 

Picking solely on performances, the 23-year-old is an easily justifiable choice.




Much of England’s back-line from Euro 2020 has looked a step off the pace since returning to their clubs. Harry Maguire, in particular, has underperformed for Manchester United this term.

However, the Chelsea trio of Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Trevoh Chalobah have shown plenty of promise in the early part of the season – with each finding the net for the Blues, in addition to their stellar defensive work.

Arsenal’s Ben White has made great strides in recent weeks too. The 24-year-old, who narrowly missed out on a place in Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad, joins the Chelsea contingent in at the back in talkSport’s line-up.

Emile Smith Rowe has broken into the England squad after some fine performances for Arsenal


Granted, he isn’t available for either of England’s next two fixtures because of illness, but West Ham’s Declan Rice is rapidly establishing himself as one of the top midfielders in the Premier League and – on form – is an automatic selection.

Leeds star Kalvin Phillips had a fantastic Euro 2020, but has struggled with injury since, meaning that Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham gets the nod in his place.

Crystal Palace’s Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher rounds out the midfield three, thanks to his four goals and two assists for the Eagles since arriving at Selhurst Park.

Ivan Toney has adapted well to life in the Premier League with Brentford


Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have been sensational for Arsenal as the Gunners have fought their way to fifth-place in the Premier League after an incredibly rocky start to the season. 

Smith Rowe is expected to receive his debut cap against Albania on Friday – although this will likely be from the bench – while Saka deserves the opportunity to build upon some encouraging outings for his country over the summer.

In this form-based XI, it is Brentford’s Ivan Toney leading the line rather than England captain Kane.

The 25-year-old frontman might only have scored two Premier League goals this season, but he has been a constant threat up top for the Bees this season. With better quality service, it wouldn’t shock many to see his goals return increase.

You can check out talkSPORT’s full England form-based XI below…

England's starting XI if based solely on form

With a number of these players not even in the England squad for the upcoming internationals, this won’t be the actual line-up that we see. However, should each individual here continue in their rich veins of form, it may only be a matter of time until they receive international honours.

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