Wayne Rooney names his England XI for World Cup opener vs Iran

    Wayne Rooney picked Trent Alexander-Arnold in his England XI (Picture: Getty)
    Wayne Rooney picked Trent Alexander-Arnold in his England XI (Picture: Getty)

    Wayne Rooney has named his England XI to face Iran in the Three Lions’ opening game at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

    England find themselves in Group B and take on Iran on November 21 before they lock horns with the United States and Wales on November 25 and November 29.

    Gareth Southgate revealed his 26-man squad on Thursday with a goalkeeping trio of Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope.

    Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ben White make up the defence.

    The midfield consists of Jude Bellingham, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice.

    Southgate named eight attackers with Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, James Maddison, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling and Callum Wilson making the squad.

    From those 26 names, England’s all-time record goalscorer Rooney has picked his starting XI to take on Iran on November 21.

    ‘I’d go with [Jordan] Pickford in goal – I think he hasn’t let anyone down,’ Rooney told talkSPORT.

    ‘Then I’d go with [a back four of] Trent [Alexander-Arnold], John Stones, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw.

    ‘I’d go with Declan Rice. Then, I know he hasn’t played, but I’d go with [Kalvin] Phillips in midfield and [Jude] Bellingham as a No.10.

    ‘Then Phil Foden, [Buyako] Saka and Harry Kane up top.’

    There was no room for Maddison in Rooney’s XI, but the Manchester United legend hopes to see the Leicester City man feature later in Qatar.

    ‘Yeah, I’m sure he will [be involved],’ Rooney added. ‘I think obviously with Phillips not playing the games he would have liked during the season.

    ‘I think there’s the option to drop Bellingham back a little bit next to Declan and bring Maddison in that No.10 role.

    ‘So I’m sure he will get his opportunities, I think the main thing for him is to just go and be professional and train right and make sure you show Gareth in training that you’re ready to come on and play or start.

    ‘If he does that, then I’m sure that Gareth won’t ignore him.’

    MORE : Wayne Rooney claims Gareth Southgate has changed his own rule to pick Man Utd star

    MORE : Gareth Southgate insists James Maddison deserves his place in England Qatar squad

    For more stories like this, check our sport page.

    Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
    FacebookTwitter and Instagram


    Previous articleArsenal to finish Christmas on top, Newcastle to prove Champions League ambitions against Chelsea, Fulham to deal another blow to Man United? Premier League set for thrilling final weekend before World Cup