Saka & Maguire to start: Insight provided into Gareth Southgate’s planned starting XI vs Iran

An early insight into the alleged team selection plans of England head coach Gareth Southgate for the nation’s World Cup opener has been provided on Sunday.

The Three Lions, of course, are primed to kick their campaign on international football’s biggest stage into gear this coming Monday.

A meeting with Iran lies in wait, at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

The intentions of boss Southgate, in turn, have long taken their place front and centre in the pre-match chatter.

And now, as alluded to above, a significant update on as much has been forthcoming online.

The info comes courtesy of the reliable Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, who has unveiled the identities of all eleven players expected to be included in England’s starting line-up on Monday.

The most noteworthy comes in the form of Bukayo Saka, with it widely understood that the Arsenal wide-man has been chosen to start over Manchester City standout Phil Foden.

Elsewhere, under-fire Manchester United stopper Harry Maguire is too in line to feature from the off, alongside John Stones at the heart of the Three Lions’ backline.

A back-4 will, in all likelihood, then be rounded out by the full-back pairing of Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier.

Jordan Pickford, meanwhile, will take his place between the posts.

Moving further forward, Southgate is ready to unleash a midfield trio of Declan Rice, Mason Mount and Borussia Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham.

And the aforementioned Saka will round out a dangerous attacking trident also featuring the talents of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.

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Conor Laird

Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.

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