England kick off their World Cup 2022 campaign against the mighty Iran and the debate over who starts the opening game begins now!
Gareth Southgate has named his 26-man squad for Qatar so Paddy’s tasked his traders with pricing up a betting market on which players will be named in the XI for the opening match on Monday, November 21. You can check out the latest World Cup odds on the Paddy Power website.
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We’ve had a stab at predicting Southgate’s XI for the clash against Iran based on Paddy’s prices, and the big question is what formation the waistcoat-wearing tactician will plump for. Injuries could force him into a 4-3-3 system but we know Southgate has a soft spot for three at the back…
The goalkeeping position is an open-and-shut case. Jordan Pickford is nailed on for the spot between the sticks, despite Aaron Ramsdale enjoying a decent campaign for Arsenal. The Everton stopper has been England’s number one for the last two major tournaments and won plenty of plaudits on both occasions.
Kieran Trippier seems to be the only right-back other than Trent Alexander-Arnold that will be fit for the opening match, while Luke Shaw appears to have the opposite flank sewn up after Ben Chilwell was ruled out of the tournament through injury.
Eric Dier is in fine form for Tottenham – if you forget his error against Liverpool – and has emerged as the leading central defender, Harry Maguire is a trusted lieutenant on the pitch despite his troubles at club level, while John Stones‘ is one of the first names on the team sheet.
The only thing likely to stop Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham from continuing their midfield double pivot in Qatar is if either player picks up an injury in the coming days.
If Southgate opts for a more attacking line up then our traders reckon Mason Mount would be the player to benefit at Maguire’s expense.
Harry Kane is the most likely starter in the whole XI, according to our odds, as the 2018 Golden Boot winner leads the line with the target of Wayne Rooney’s England goalscoring record in his sights. Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling are the favourites to provide the attacking support.
England Predicted XI v Iran
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
Defence: Kieran Tripper, John Stones, Eric Dier, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw
Midfield: Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham
Attack: Phil Foden, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling
Your World Cup 2022 Starter Pack
- World Cup wallchart: Paddy Power’s free Qatar 2022 fixtures guide
- World Cup sweepstake kit: Print or download Paddy’s Qatar 2022 handy pack
- World Cup TV schedule: Paddy’s complete television guide for Qatar 2022
- World Cup live stream free: How to watch every match at Qatar 2022
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