Predicted XI

World Cup Qualifying: How England could line up against San Marino

Injuries have limited Gareth Southgate's options but he will need to rotate as a run of three games in six days begins.

 
9:00am on Thursday 25th March 2021
By
David Lynch

With England set to contest three World Cup qualifiers in the next six days, Gareth Southgate will no doubt see a meeting with San Marino as his best chance to rotate.

Thursday's visitors to Wembley have only ever won one official fixture - against Liechenstein in 2004 - and so shouldn't pose too much of a threat to even a much-changed Three Lions team.

Consequently, Southgate is likely to opt for the sort of experimental line-up seen during a friendly win over the Republic of Ireland during the last international break in November.

Nick Pope and Dean Henderson took a half each between the sticks in that game, and the latter's recent run in the Manchester United team could earn him the nod against San Marino and beyond with Jordan Pickford out injured.

In defence, Reece James is likely to benefit from Trent Alexander-Arnold's surprise omission, while Luke Shaw could get his first England cap since 2018 if Ben Chilwell is saved for the challenges ahead.

Conor Coady's experience in a three-man backline should earn him the nod, with John Stones eased back into international football and Tyrone Mings handed another opportunity to impress.

Ahead of them, James Ward-Prowse and Kalvin Phillips look a good bet to anchor the midfield, with the likes of Declan Rice and Mason Mount held back.

And up top, Dominic Calvert-Lewis could be allowed to take the strain off Harry Kane, with Phil Foden and Jesse Lingard in support.

England predicted XI against San Marino

England - Football tactics and formations

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