England’s XI for the 2022 World Cup out in Qatar will be predicted by many over the next couple of months.
We’re now tantalisingly close to the latest edition of sport’s biggest tournament, which means fans and pundits alike will be weighing in with their opinions on who Gareth Southgate should field for the Three Lions’ first group game against Iran.
It’s always tough making such predictions, especially when you’re making them five years before the tournament actually kicks off.
Let’s run through their prediction…
GK – Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Okay, not the worst start. Pickford is currently England’s number one goalkeeper thanks to his fine form at Everton and has previously shined for his country at major tournaments, Euro 2020 in particular.
RB – Joe Gomez (Liverpool)
Injuries have curtailed Gomez’s career at both club and international level. The versatile defender has 11 England caps to his name, but hasn’t represented the Three Lions since 2020 and will likely miss out on a spot in Southgate’s World Cup squad.
CB – Dael Fry (Middlesbrough)
Fry was a regular in England’s youth teams, however, he’s yet to make the step up to senior level. The giant centre-back is also hasn’t played a single game in the Premier League, having spent the vast majority of his career at Boro – aside from a short loan spell at Rotherham.
CB – Joel Latibeaudiere (Swansea City)
Like Fry, Latibeaudiere is yet to make an appearance in the Premier League, however, he does have an international cap to his name for Jamaica after switching allegiances earlier this year. The former Manchester City man may become a regular with the ‘Reggae Boyz’ in the near future.
LB – Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton)
Not the worst shout to be fair. Walker-Peters has two England caps under his belt thanks to some fine displays in a Southampton shirt of late, but it’s highly unlikely he’ll be on the plane to Qatar later this year.
CM – Nathaniel Chalobah (Fulham)
Chalobah is currently one of England’s one-cap wonders thanks to his brief cameo against Spain in 2018. But the chances of the Chelsea academy graduate earning a second are slim to none, although in football, we’ve learned not to rule anything out.
CM – Josh Onomah (Fulham)
Onomah represented England from U16 level all the way up to U21 and for a while, he was also excelling at Fulham after joining from Tottenham Hotspur. Now, the midfielder can’t even get a game at Craven Cottage. He has at least been included in the club’s 25-man Premier League squad list, though.
CM – Dele Alli (Besiktas)
In 2017, you’d have sworn Alli would go on to earn 100 England caps, but that hasn’t turned out to be the case. After years of decline, the former Spurs midfielder is now playing for Besiktas and it’s likely we’ll never see him in a Three Lions jersey again.
CAM – Phil Foden (Manchester City)
A rare great shout in the XI. Foden is both the present and future of the England team, with his performances at City over the past year or so likely to secure him a starting berth at the 2022 World Cup.
ST – Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
England’s current captain and soon-to-be record goalscorer. Yeah, we don’t really need to say much more than that. Fair play, The Mirror…
ST – Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United)
So after two brilliant predictions, we finish with a dreadful one. Brewster was a star in England’s youth ranks and was tipped for big things when he completed a £20 million move to Sheffield United from Liverpool. Sadly, he’s scored just four goals in 56 games for the Blades, which is a truly damning stat…