Scotland icon Graeme Souness has revealed his England starting XI for the World Cup and believes the Three Lions’ hopes of glory rest on Harry Kane
England are gearing up for their final two fixtures before the World Cup kicks off in November, when they take on Italy on Friday and Germany next Monday in the UEFA Nations League.
England are among the favourites to lift the World Cup in Qatar with only Brazil and France considered shorter odds than Gareth Southgate’s side.
With just over eight weeks until kick-off in the Gulf state, Southgate will be preparing to make his final judgement calls ahead of the final squad announcement as he looks to go one better than in 2018 by leading England to a second-successive major tournament final.
England begin their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21 and Souness has revealed who he would choose in the line up for the Group B opener in Doha.
“I’ve gone with [Jordan] Pickford in goal, a back-three of [John] Stones, [Eric] Dier in the middle of a back-three with [Kyle] Walker, Souness told talkSPORT.
“Wing-backs of [Ben] Chilwell on the left and Reece James on the right.
“In the middle, [Declan] Rice and [Jude] Bellingham, then up front, [Raheem] Sterling, Kane and [Phil] Foden.”
Fernandes ‘really angry’ at failed Spurs move and explains moaning at Man United
‘We thought we had him’ – Robson recalls Bellingham meeting that almost led to move
‘It’s why I’m enjoying them so much’ – Laura Woods explains joys of watching Arsenal
Mbappe backs out of France photoshoot due to ‘moral concerns’ over sponsorship deal
New deal for Premier League clubs in shake-up of cup competitions backed
Tottenham facing potential Lloris injury blow ahead of derby clash against Arsenal
Souness admitted that he considered opting for Trent Alexander-Arnold in place of Reece James but felt that the Liverpool man could be a better option from the bench.
“Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool has been highlighted as not a very good defender but going forward there’s no one better. If you need to chase the game you’re getting Trent on because of his delivery.”
Harry Kane is three-goals away from tying Wayne Rooney’s all-time scoring record of 53 goals for England.
The prolific Tottenham striker is on course to make history but Souness believes he could create even bigger headlines if he has a good World Cup.
“I’m a big fan of Harry Kane,” Souness added. “I think England’s World Cup hopes depend on Kane having a very good World Cup.
“If Kane has a really good World Cup England could actually win it. He’s a World class player. He’s someone who could go and get in anyone else’s team and he’s the only one out of the XI I’ve named that can do that right now.”
Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT
At talkSPORT we are powered by fans, so come and join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – at the talkSPORT Fan Zone.
In a huge indoor venue under the arches at Waterloo in London, we’ll bring you live screenings of every World Cup game.
There will be Q&As with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live broadcasts, and there will be plenty of food and drink on offer too.
Come and enjoy the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a pint on us – with tickets for England and Wales’ group stage games on sale now HERE!