Gareth Southgate’s been predicted to play things safe when they take on Tunisia in their World Cup opener. Times appeared to be changing when the England manager announced his last squad, we’d finally moved beyond players getting automatic caps despite lacking in form. The previous squad included the likes of Jack Cork, Ashley Young, Dominic Solanke and Tammy Abraham to underline that point. However, the bookies are predicting Southgate will resort to type by the time the World Cup comes around.
England’s number one is a position which splits opinion between football fans, and with Joe Hart being axed from West Ham’s team, many believe it’s time for change. Jack Butland is the bookies favourite at 5/6 to start England’s opener against Tunisia, just slightly edging out Jordon Pickford at 5/4. There doesn’t appear to be a happy ending to Hart’s dismal season though, he’s 7/1 to start England’s opener having held on to the goalkeeper spot for so long.
The Three Lions starting defence for the World Cup opener is a lot more stable and predictable. The bookmakers expect Kyle Walker (1/6), John Stones (1/8), Gary Cahill (1/8) and Danny Rose (1/4) to get the nod. Despite Rose only making five Premier League appearances, the Spurs defender is 1/4 to be in Southgate’s eleven, meaning Ryan Bertrand (3/1) and Luke Shaw (18/1) would both miss out. It’s difficult to argue with Cahill and Walker, but some may argue Stones’ mistakes get covered up by City’s dominance and he doesn’t deserve to be as short as 1/8. The Chelsea skipper’s main competition for the centre-back role comes from Phil Jones (4/6) and Harry Maguire (9/4).
Eric Dier hasn’t been the same player who helped Tottenham to finish runners-up in the Premier League last season, the bookies still feel he’s a guaranteed starter at the World Cup in spite of that and they’ve currently priced him at 1/6. It’s expected he’ll be joined in the midfield three by Jordon Henderson (4/5) and Dele Ali (1/8). Henderson is another player who has struggled this term, but is still predicted to keep out in-form Jack Wilshere (3/1), Harry Winks (5/1), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (7/1) and Jake Livermore (10/1).
Skybet’s odds suggest that Gareth Southgate will go with a front three of Harry Kane (1/12), Marcus Rashford (1/2) and Raheem Sterling (4/7). Rashford has largely had to settle with a place on the bench under Jose Mourinho this season, mainly due to Jesse Lingard’s (4/1) form, but rather surprisingly the 20 year-old is expected to get the nod over his teammate. Other players to miss out include Adam Lallana (6/4), Jamie Vardy (6/1), Daniel Sturridge (16/1), Ross Barkley (20/1) and Danny Welbeck (20/1).
Let us know who you would drop on Twitter, tag @oddschecker.
This is England's most likely starting XI for the World Cup according to bookies.— Oddschecker Media (@OddscheckerNews) February 1, 2018
Think it's a good team? pic.twitter.com/Ke1DW7SzTr