England open their UEFA Nations League campaign with a trip to face Hungary in Budapest on Saturday evening.
The Three Lions find themselves in a tricky-looking Group A3 alongside Germany, Italy and the Hungarians. Gareth Southgate’s men will face all three of those opponents this month in a marathon four-game international break which comes straight off the back of the club campaign.
Southgate already has a few selection headaches after Ben White withdrew from the squad through injury, and with big games against Germany and Italy to come next week, he could look to rotate.
Here’s how the boss could set up his side at the Puskas Arena…
GK: Aaron Ramsdale – This will be a good opportunity to give Ramsdale some more minutes, with Pickford coming into this break off the back of an intense survival fight with Everton.
RB: Reece James – Trent Alexander-Arnold will likely be given a rest having played in the Champions League final last weekend, handing James a chance to impress.
CB: Fikayo Tomori – Deservedly in the squad and likely in line for a start here following Ben White’s withdrawal. Southgate must be keen to have a look at him close up.
CB: Harry Maguire – Will be desperate to put an awful club campaign behind him. Didn’t play a lot of football towards the end of the season so should be fresh to play as the left centre-back.
LB: Kieran Trippier – There’s no left-backs in the squad and Trippier is the most capable of covering there, unless Southgate throws James Justin in from the start.
CM: Declan Rice – Will probably be tasked with being more defensive than he has been for West Ham of late. Expect him to be withdrawn for Kalvin Phillips at some stage.
CM: Jude Bellingham – Still just 18, these are the kinds of matches where he can stake his claim to that regular starting place he seems destined for.
AM: Mason Mount – Likely to be among the busier players in the squad this break. Mount has been the picture of consistency for Chelsea this season. Hopefully he has some energy left.
RW: Bukayo Saka – Enjoyed an excellent club campaign and Southgate will see him as a reliable deputy to the likes of Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden in this scenario.
ST: Tammy Abraham – The Europa Conference League winner deserves a start here before Harry Kane steps in. Emerged as England’s obvious second-best striker with 27 goals last season.
LW: Jack Grealish – Hopefully his title party hangover has subsided. Not a guaranteed starter in big games for England but could prove a point here.