Predicted England World Cup 2022 line-up: Sterling or Sancho? 4 right backs or 5? Who keeps Grealish out?

These international tournaments don't half come round fast, do they?

England squad

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Goodbye Euros, hello World Cup. Yes, it’s in the middle of a desert in November and December, but we’ll all be loving it when the action finally kicks off. And while the Boys In Green struggle to stay above Azerbaijan in the race to avoid finishing bottom in Group A, England are cruising through to Qatar 2022.

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As we continue to trust the process, let’s turn our attention to England and who Gareth Southgate might or might not select for their opener. Let’s face it, there’s no way the Three Lions aren’t making it from here.

So, are you a mystic Maguire? If you are there’s a chance to pocket some cash as Paddy’s traders have priced up pretty much every decent English player going and their chances of starting the first match at World Cup 2022. Let’s take a look at some of the contenders.

Goalkeeper

Jordan Pickford’s got the No.1 spot nailed down and he normally keeps his more bonkers side quiet while representing his country. However, Arsenal’s new boy Aaron Ramsdale has made a very impressive start to life at The Emirates. Could he depose Pickford?

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Jordan Pickford To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup- Goalkeepers

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Aaron Ramsdale To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup- Goalkeepers

Defence

We’re a bit disappointed these aren’t all right-backs to be honest but Southgate does normally go with a couple of centre backs as well, to be fair to him. There are six right-backs in the top 12 so that shows you how hot a race it is to be one of the four picked. Elsewhere Fikayo Tomori could be an interesting choice after he received a call up for the October international break.

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Fikayo Tomori To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Defenders

The former Chelsea defender has been making a good impression in Serie A and has been duly rewarded by Southgate and his staff. Despite the right-back love in, Trent Alexander-Arnold has been bizarrely maligned with England despite having some of the best attacking numbers in the Premier League. Maybe he’s a bit too exciting for Southgate?

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Trent Alexander-Arnold To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Defenders

Jack Grealish England

Midfield

Double pivot. That’s a phrase we were all sick of come the end of the Euros because of Southgate’s seemingly irrepressible desire to play two holding midfielders whoever they faced. Will this change as a new crop of exciting players come through? Harvey Elliott is an interesting option as the 18-year-old made a big impression for Liverpool before picking up a nasty injury at the start of the season.

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Harvey Elliott To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Midfielders

Dele Alli’s back playing regularly for Tottenham, while Conor Gallagher could be a real dark horse. Don’t overlook Borussia Dortmund wunderkind Jude Bellingham who will be desperate for more after his Euro 2020 cameos.

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Dele Alli To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Midfielders

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Conor Gallagher To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Midfielders

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Jude Bellingham To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Midfielders

Forwards

Another area of contention for England is what formation they use up top and which players slot into it. Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling appear to be Southgate’s most trusted two but who’s filling in on the left?

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Harry Kane To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Forwards

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Raheem Sterling To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Forwards

£100m man Jack Grealish might finally get a chance now he’s moved to Manchester City but long-shot Callum Hudson-Odoi has been featuring for Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel recently. Bukayo Saka forced his way into the starting XI at the Euros while Tammy Abraham is a player reborn for Roma this season.

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Jack Grealish To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Forwards

80/1
Callum Hudson-Odoi To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Forwards

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Bukayo Saka To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Forwards

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Tammy Abraham To Start England's First Match of 2022 World Cup - Forwards

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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