Graeme Souness’ England World Cup starting XI to face Iran includes James Maddison and Harry Maguire but NO Jude Bellingham, Jack Grealish or Bukayo Saka

    Graeme Souness has named James Maddison and Harry Maguire in his England starting XI to face Iran at the 2022 World Cup.

    The Three Lions begin their quest to win the tournament in Qatar on November 21, with the Asian nation first up for Gareth Southgate‘s side.

    Maddison could be included in England’s World Cup squad and, if he is, Souness wants him to start

    Getty

    Maddison could be included in England’s World Cup squad and, if he is, Souness wants him to start

    But Souness can’t find room for Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Jude Bellingham

    Getty

    But Souness can’t find room for Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Jude Bellingham

    Southgate will name his final 26-man squad for the competition on Thursday.

    There has been much debate at who Southgate could bring in and what big names may miss out.

    One of those in question is Leicester midfielder Maddison, with former England boss Glenn Hoddle telling talkSPORT he has to be on the plane.

    And it is a view shared by former Liverpool captain Souness who has picked him in his line-up, which surprisingly didn’t include Jude Bellingham or Bukayo Saka.

    Going for a 5-2-3 formation, Souness named both Kyle Walker and Reece James in his XI providing both defenders get back to full fitness soon.

    Running through his line-up on White and Jordan starting with the goalkeeper, Souness said: “[Jordan] Pickford. He’s the man in possession.

    Maguire has had a tough time lately but Souness would still start him

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    Maguire has had a tough time lately but Souness would still start him

    Graeme Souness believes England should play a back five at the World Cup in their opener against Iran

    talkSPORT

    Graeme Souness believes England should play a back five at the World Cup in their opener against Iran

    “So I’m going three [centre-halves] at the back, Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire.”

    Interjecting, Simon Jordan asked if there was any room for Arsenal’s versatile defender Ben White.

    To which Souness joked: “Whose team is it?”

    As for his wing-backs, Souness remarked: “If fit, I’d have Reece James on the right and Kieran Trippier on the left.”

    He continued: “I’ve got James Maddison in midfield with Declan Rice and Mason Mount.”

    Sterling gets the nod in a three-man attack

    getty

    Sterling gets the nod in a three-man attack

    But after realising he had in fact named 12 players in his team, he reluctantly dropped the Chelsea man to the bench.

    Joking about his mistake, he quipped: “I looked at the squad of players and thought, ‘how could England beat Iran? I know, we’ll go with 12′ and see if we can get away with it.”

    Commenting on his attack, he stated: “Up front, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Harry [Kane].”

    Graeme Souness’ England XI to face Iran

    This is how Souness would have the Three Lions starting against Iran on November 21

    This is how Souness would have the Three Lions starting against Iran on November 21

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