The Three Lions have been getting progressively better in major tournaments under Gareth Southgate.
They finished fourth at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, before narrowly missing out to Italy on penalties in the Euro 2020 final.
England fans will be hoping 2022 is the year the nation finally gets over their hoodoo and ends their long wait for a major trophy.
The Three Lions have a number of talented players, but the XI that starts against Iran in their opening game of the 2022 World Cup is far from certain.
Should Harry Maguire play in defence? Who starts at right-back? Who occupies the two wing positions alongside Harry Kane? – those are just three of the questions that Southgate will have to answer.
PAUL MERSON PICKS HIS ENGLAND XI FOR THE WORLD CUP
He’s picked an eyebrow raising XI and you can view it below…
GK: Jordan Pickford
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold
CB: Kyle Walker
CB: John Stones
LB: Kieran Trippier
CM: Declan Rice
CM: Mason Mount
CM: Phil Foden
LW: Marcus Rashford
RW: Raheem Sterling
ST: Harry Kane
Here's Paul Merson's England XI for their first 2022 World Cup game… 💭🏆 pic.twitter.com/EGp4NFXNxl— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) September 22, 2022
Merson’s XI is very interesting.
He’s chosen a four-at-the-back formation, with three of the four in defence being right-backs.
He’s left out Reece James, who has arguably emerged into the best right-back in the world in recent times.
Merson doesn’t think Jude Bellingham should start, with out-of-form Mount and Foden partnering Rice in a very attacking midfield.
Sterling and Kane are almost guaranteed to start. Merson thinks England should recall Rashford, who had a poor season in 2021/22 but is starting to look like his old self under Erik ten Hag.
It’s a bold XI from Merson and one that hasn’t gone down very well at all among fans. View some reaction to Merson’s XI below…
FOOTBALL FANS REACT TO MERSON’S XI
ENGLAND PLAY FINAL GAMES AHEAD OF WORLD CUP
Time is running out for England players to impress Southgate and force their way into his World Cup squad.
The Three Lions play their final two Nations League matches in the coming days against Italy and Germany.
England are currently winless from their four group games and are in serious danger of being relegated.