England boss Gareth Southgate takes on Spain on Tuesday evening in something of a pressure-free environment.
The interim manager is expected to be given the job on a permanent basis in the coming weeks after a run of two games and a draw which has kept the Three Lions on course to qualify for the next World Cup in two years’ time.
The match at Wembley is a friendly, that plus the calibre of the opposition means that Southgate can go into the game in relaxed mood, free to make a few alterations to his first-choice team.
England have already confirmed that Harry Kane has returned to Tottenham and will play no part in proceedings, while Jordan Henderson will captain the side as Wayne Rooney is not expected to start having missed training on Monday.
Jamie Vardy is likely to start up front against Spain, and while Southgate has hinted that wholesale changes will not be made, maybe he should consider that possibility a bit more in order to give some players valuable international experience.
So how should England line up against Spain?
Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Heaton’s international career so far consists of a three-minute cameo against Australia in a Euro 2016 warm-up friendly in May of this year. However, the 30-year-old has been earning rave reviews for a string of fine performances in the Premier League for Burnley this season – particularly in the 0-0 draw against former club Manchester United at Old Trafford – and will feel like he has earned a chance to impress.
Right-Back: Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)
Centre-Back: John Stones (Manchester City)
Centre-Back: Michael Keane (Burnley)
Left-Back: Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur)
Kyle Walker appears to have nailed down the right-back for competitive games, though there is no reason why Clyne, having an impressive season with Premier League table-toppers Liverpool, should not be given a chance in a friendly.
The same goes for Michael Keane in the centre. The Burnley defender, like Heaton behind him, has been solid for the Clarets this season and Southgate could give Gary Cahill a rest by handing Keane a first England cap. Next to him should be John Stones, who needs all the practice he can get – and the relaxed setting of a friendly should suit him perfectly.
At left-back, Ryan Bertrand should start if fit, but the fact that the Southampton defender sat out training on Monday means that Rose will probably keep his place. Late call-up Aaron Cresswell remains an option but he is likely to be brought on as a substitute if at all.
Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur)
Centre-Midfield: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Attacking Midfield: Adam Lallana (Liverpool)
Jordan Henderson will captain the side, so he is guaranteed to start. After that, England do not have many alternatives to choose from in the name of experimentation. Eric Dier and Adam Lallana could both start simply because there is nobody else.
Bournemouth’s Jack Wilshere remains an option, and starting ahead of Lallana is a definite possibility, but Dier is almost certain to start as Southgate didn’t deem it necessary to call up another central midfielder after Danny Drinkwater had to withdraw due to injury.
Right-Wing: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Left-Wing: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Striker: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Walcott’s sparkling Arsenal form this season hasn’t quite led to the international breakthrough some might have imagined it would. but he is back in the squad after his Euro 2016 omission and that should suffice for now. In the meantime, he should get a greater chance to stake his claim for a spot against Spain.
As too should Marcus Rashford. The 19-year-old is very much England’s fourth choice striker right now, so he may yet get an opportunity to impress in the wing position he has been operating in at club level in recent weeks.
Vardy, meanwhile, can consider himself somewhat fortunate that a return of three goals (the last of which came two months ago) in seventeen games has not significantly harmed his England career. Rumours are rife that he will be given the chance to lead the line at Wembley on Tuesday.
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