Matt Le Tissier’s 23-man England squad for World Cup

We tasked Matt Le Tissier with providing his 23-man England squad for the World Cup in Russia.

Gareth Southgate will announce England’s final World Cup squad on May 16, the Football Association confirmed last week.

Two potential Liverpool inclusions – forward Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and defender Joe Gomez – have already been ruled out, and there are injury doubts over Adam Lallana.

Who has former England international Le Tiss opted for?

Goalkeepers

I think Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford are our best two keepers but haven’t had great ends to the season and, if you throw Joe Hart into it the equation, it has been a bit of a nightmare in that department.

It has been a poor season for Hart, struggling to even make the West Ham team, so I think it is pretty impossible for him to be picked and am going for Nick Pope, with Alex McCarthy unfortunate to miss out.

Defenders

Based on England playing a back three, I’m putting Kyle Walker in there, with John Stones our cultured centre-back and James Tarkowski and Harry Maguire battling it out for the other starting spot. I think if he’s playing three at the back then Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Gary Cahill aren’t for Southgate.

My two right-wings backs are Kieran Tripper and Trent Alexander-Arnold and the two left-backs I’ve gone for are Ryan Bertrand and Aaron Cresswell, who has also played on the left side of a back three and is one of our better crossers of a ball.

I’m ditching Danny Rose because he’s not really been a regular in the Spurs side and the brief appearances he has made have hardly been outstanding, so he’s hardly got a stake to claim.

I’m also going to include Ashley Young in the squad for his versatility as he has had a good season.

Midfielders

I think this is the weakest area of our squad, other than goalkeepers perhaps. We don’t have outstanding midfielders to choose from but Jack Wilshere can, on his day, offer you more quality. Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier, who can also cover at centre-back, will be in there.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is next on my list, having looked good in the friendlies, looks comfortable on the ball and I think he might well rise to the challenge of a World Cup.

I know Newcastle fans are calling for Jonjo Shelvey but I just think if Southgate rated him he had to have given him a chance by now, so I can’t see Southgate changing his mind.

Dele Alli needs to buck his ideas up a bit to keep his place in the starting line-up, having dipped below his level, while Jesse Lingard’s form has gone in the opposite direction and pops up with goals in big games

Then, in Adam Lallana, I’ve gone for a quality player who may have just come back from injury but would be a shoe-in had it not been for his problems. He may not be fully fit but he can come off the bench and make a difference.

Forwards

Then we have four forwards. Harry Kane is first on the list and I don’t think it will be any surprise when he is named captain, while Raheem Sterling will be the second name of Southgate’s team sheet after a season in which he has surprised us all with his goals and performances.

Jamie Vardy deserves his place with another 20-goal haul and is somebody who will make a nuisance of himself with his pace, while Marcus Rashford should be nice and fresh having had his minutes limited at United.

Matt Le Tissier’s 23-man England squad

Goalkeepers: Butland, Pickford, Pope

Defenders: Tripper, Walker, Bertrand, Young, Cresswell, Alexander-Arnold, Maguire, Tarkowski

Midfielders: Dier, Henderson, Delph, Wilshere, Loftus-Cheek, Alli, Sterling, Lingard, Lallana

Forwards: Vardy, Kane, Rashford, Sterling

Source.