International Soccer

England predicted lineup vs Belgium

Gareth Southgate’s injury woes have only deepened since Saturday’s defeat and the full extent of his squad will be tested during the March break.

England suffered a rare home loss to an inexperienced Brazil at the weekend, with very few having a positive word to say about the Three Lions’ drab display which offered little room for optimisim ahead of Euro 2024.

Thus, a response is needed on Tuesday night when they take on a Belgium side also without a couple of their heavy hitters.

Here’s the starting XI the England boss could pick for the upcoming friendly.

England v Brazil - International Friendly

Southgate is expected to make changes from Saturday’s defeat / Alex Livesey – Danehouse/GettyImages

GK: Jordan Pickford – With Sam Johnstone now out of the squad, Pickford could keep his place between the sticks. Southgate’s other options are unlikely to feature at Euro 2024.

RB: Ezri Konsa – The Aston Villa defender was a bright spark off the bench on Saturday and deserves a start. Centre-back Konsa has featured at full-back for Unai Emery this season.

CB: John Stones – Southgate will be forced into multiple defensive changes, so he should keep the imperious Stones for some continuity.

CB: Lewis Dunk – Jarrad Branthwaite should get his first cap at some point, but Dunk is more likely to partner Stones after coming off the bench at the weekend.

LB: Joe Gomez – Ben Chilwell was far from his best against Brazil and the versatile Gomez will likely replace him.

CM: Declan Rice – The sturdy Arsenal enforcer is one of few likely to retain his place in the starting XI from Saturday’s defeat.

CM: Jude Bellingham – Bellingham adds a ton of watchability to this often drab and cautious England outfit. He offered surges of dynamism against Brazil and should get another hour under his belt, perhaps in a deeper role, on Tuesday night.

RM: Jarrod Bowen – Phil Foden was isolated wide right at the weekend and will be hoping to take up a more prominent central role in midweek. With Bukayo Saka out and Cole Palmer a doubt, West Ham’s Bowen is in contention for a start.

AM: James Maddison – After failing to come off the bench on Saturday, Southgate will surely want to get a look at Maddison. The Tottenham playmaker will supply a creative spark.

LM: Marcus Rashford – Anthony Gordon certainly didn’t let himself down on debut, but he’s set to come out of the side for one of the old guard on Tuesday night.

ST: Ivan Toney – With England potentially only taking two strikers to Germany, this is a huge month for Ollie Watkins and Toney. Watkins had his shot on Saturday, now it’s Toney’s turn.


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