Predicting England’s starting line-up for their clash with Kosovo

Kosovo vs England

England’s final game of the current international break will be away to Kosovo on Sunday afternoon.

The tie will also be England’s final Euro 2020 qualifier.

Gareth Southgate’s men secured their place in next summer’s Euros earlier this week, when they smashed Montenegro 7-0.

And after that emphatic victory, England also made sure that they will top Group A.

So, England’s final Euro 2020 qualifier could be used by Southgate as a way to give some fringe players a bit more of a chance, or to fine-tune his main XI in the lead up to Euro 2020.

Here is how England could line up for the clash.

Tomori to debut?

Starting at the back, as is pretty much always the case with Gareth Southgate’s England side, Jordan Pickford will likely be between the sticks on Sunday.

As for England’s full-backs, as mentioned in our last England predictions piece, Southgate appears to be a fan of alternating his full-backs each game.

So, after the more attack-minded Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Chilwell started on Thursday, we will likely see Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose given the nod vs Kosovo.

And much like Pickford, betting on Harry Maguire to start any competitive England tie is pretty safe.

But the spot next to Maguire is one, you could argue, that is still up for grabs.

John Stones took that spot vs Montenegro, but the Manchester City man was once again somewhat shaky defensively against fairly weak opposition.

So, given the fact that there is very little on the line on Sunday, Southgate could opt to give Chelsea youngster Fikayo Tomori his England senior debut, with the 21-year-old impressing under Frank Lampard so far this term.

 

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Ox to retain his spot

England played a fairly new-look midfield vs Montenegro, which consisted of Harry Winks, Mason Mount and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

If Jordan Henderson was back fit, there is a good chance that we would have seen the Liverpool man slot in instead of Winks on Sunday.

However, England confirmed on Saturday that Henderson has still yet to fully recover from a viral infection, and won’t travel to Kosovo, meaning Winks is in with a good chance of starting.

As for England’s more attacking midfield roles, Oxlade-Chamberlain put in a solid shift vs Montenegro, and has probably done enough to justify starting vs Kosovo.

As for Mount, he put on a decent display at Wembley, but Southgate may be inclined to hand Leicester’s James Maddison his first England start over the Chelsea youngster.

Maddison made his England debut earlier this week, coming off the bench vs Montenegro.

Sterling to return?

Probably the biggest change to be made vs Kosovo will be Raheem Sterling returning to the England squad.

After a bust-up with Joe Gomez earlier in the week, the Manchester City forward was omitted from England’s matchday squad to face Montenegro.

However, Sky Sports News have reported that Sterling will start vs Kosovo.

It will likely be a tough call for Southgate, but Marcus Rashford may be the man to make way for Sterling on Sunday.

That would likely leave Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho to complete England’s attacking line-up.

While some fans may have been hoping to see the likes of Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi given a run-out in what is a fairly low stakes game, England don’t have too many fixtures left to play before next summer’s tournament, and Southgate will probably want to get his main eleven playing together as regularly as possible.

England’s predicted XI

See also: Northern Ireland vs Netherlands betting tips: UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier match preview & predictions

Kosovo vs England betting tips: UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier match preview & predictions

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