BREAKING NEWS: Gareth Southgate names his first England XI for the World Cup as Harry Maguire, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham start against Iran in an attacking lineup
- Gareth Southgate’s first starting XI for the Qatar World Cup has been announced
- England take on Iran today in a Group B clash they are heavily expected to win
- Arsenal star Bukayo Saka beat Phil Foden to a starting role in an attacking lineup
- Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for England vs Iran latest score and updates
- Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for all the latest news and updates from Qatar
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
England’s first starting XI of the Qatar World Cup has been revealed with Gareth Southgate opting for an attacking side against Iran.
The Three Lions get their World Cup campaign underway against their Group B rivals this afternoon, and Southgate’s side are looking to start strong with tough games against Wales and USA to follow.
Southgate has opted for a 4-3-3 formation for the clash, with Bukayo Saka getting the nod over Phil Foden in an attacking trident spearheaded by Harry Kane and also supported by Raheem Sterling.
Pickford, as expected, starts in goal, with Southgate keeping faith in Harry Maguire despite his struggles for Manchester United this season. Maguire is partnered by John Stones in central defence, with Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw the full-backs.
Jude Bellingham was widely anticipated to partner West Ham star Declan Rice in the middle of the park, which has proven to be the case, while Mason Mount will be the creative outlet in the midfield three.
Confirmed England XI: Jordan Pickford, Kieran Trippier, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane
Confirmed Iran XI: Beyranvand, Rouzbeh Cheshmi, Ali Karimi, Sadeq Moharrami, Ehsan Hajisafi (C), Milad Mohammadi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Mehdi Taremi, Majid Hosseini, Ahmad Nourollahi, Morteza Pouraliganji
Harry Maguire (centre) and Kieran Trippier (right) have been named in Gareth Southgate’s starting XI for England’s World Cup opener against Iran
Arsenal star Bukayo Saka was also named in the starting XI as he beat Phil Foden to a place
England captain Harry Kane will lead the line – but he won’t wear a ‘OneLove’ armband
Not included in the starting lineup is Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, with Newcastle’s in-form star Trippier preferred.
Kyle Walker was not fit enough to be involved from the off, but he has been named on the bench, as he continues to work up to full fitness after groin surgery.
The Manchester City defender expects to be ready for the USA game on Friday.
James Maddison was been ruled out of the opener after missing training again on Sunday due to a knee problem.
Also on the bench and looking to make an impact late on are Jordan Henderson, Foden and Callum Wilson.
Phil Foden has been in sublime form for Manchester City this season but starts on the bench
Trent Alexander-Arnold (right) was beaten to the XI by Kieran Trippier, while James Maddison (left) is out due to injury
Southgate stressed on Sunday that he plans to rotate his team through the group stages, which will offer those not starting a chance to play regularly during the tournament.
England’s clash against Iran comes a day after hosts Qatar got the World Cup underway, falling to a one-sided 2-0 defeat to Group A rivals Ecuador.
The action will now come thick and fast, with four games a day to be played throughout the remainder of the group stages.
Senegal and Holland will go head-to-head later this afternoon, before England’s Group B rivals USA and Wales square off tonight.
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