England: How Three Lions could line-up in the UEFA Nations League without Harry Kane and Callum Hudson-Odoi
It’s set to be a busy summer for England with UEFA Nations League glory in sight for Gareth Southgate’s men.
The Three Lions face a resurgent Netherlands side in the semi-finals of the competition in June – and it’s set to be a stern test for the World Cup semi-finalists.
The Netherlands, captained by Liverpool’s monstrous defender Virgil van Dijk, have a side littered with talent.
Ajax duo Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt are making waves in the Champions League this term and will be stars of the game for years to come, with the former already completing a £60million move to Barca.
While other stars such as Memphis Depay, Gini Wijnaldum and Daley Blind are also enjoying superb seasons for their respective clubs.
However, England under Southgate are a force to be reckoned with and we have some immense stars of our own.
But how could the Three Lions line-up in the Nations League, with Harry Kane and Callum Hudson-Odoi likely miss out due to injury? talkSPORT.com has given it’s verdict…
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Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford has had some shaky moments this season but he has still helped Everton on their way to the fifth most clean sheets in the league (12).
Apart from a few notable errors, such as his howler which gave Divock Origi a tap in for Liverpool in December, the stopper has done nothing to suggest he should be replaced in Southgate’s line-up.
His ability on the ball and superb distribution is key to how England play and that will be imperative to the Three Lions’ chances in the competition in the summer.
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Ben Chilwell
In a traditional back four, Trent Alexander-Arnold gets the nod over Kyle Walker at right-back.
The Liverpool star has once again been impressive this season, making the PFA Team of the Year and helping the Reds to a league-high 19 clean sheets.
The left-back slot is a little more tricky, with Danny Rose, Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell all deserving of a spot.
But because the Foxes full-back was most impressive in the Euro qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro, Chilwell gets the nod in the XI.
The familiar World Cup pairing of John Stones and Harry Maguire complete the defence for their ball-playing ability, with Everton’s Michael Keane and Burnley’s James Tarkowski waiting in the wings.
Midfielders: Declan Rice, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson
Declan Rice has had an outstanding breakthrough season in the Premier League and has deservedly been nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award. He fills in the slot in front of the defence.
Dele Alli, although injury-struck for large parts of the season, has been brilliant for Spurs in recent weeks and has been instrumental to their good form. He also possesses the ability to score goals from midfield and contributes well defensively.
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson completes the midfield trio following his solid displays for the title-chasing Reds this campaign.
Henderson also has leaderships skills, which is necessary to command authority in the young England line-up.
Forwards: Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford
Raheem Sterling, in the absence of Harry Kane, will undoubtedly be England’s main man for the tournament should the Three Lions’ skipper be absent.
The City winger has had an incredible season and has gone from a very good player to a world class one this campaign.
Joining him in the front three is Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho, who lit up the Bundesliga this season and Marcus Rashford, who is England’s best option up top without Kane, despite the United forward going through a barren run of form.
Callum Wilson is a more than capable replacement in the no.9 role, having netted 12 goals for the Cherries in a fine season for the forward.
Have a look at the line-up in full below…
Source: SportsLatest TS