England face Denmark in their third and final game of the October international break on Wednesday night, going head-to-head in UEFA Nations League Group A2.
England, who beat Wales in a friendly to kick off this month’s internationals last week, currently top the group after winning 2-1 against world number one ranked Belgium on Sunday and would be well-placed to qualify for the finals tournament for the second time if they beat the Danes.
Here’s a look at the XI that manager Gareth Southgate could pick…
Jordan Pickford – Nick Pope was the goalkeeper favoured for the Wales friendly, but it was Pickford who was given the nod to return for the competitive outing against the Belgians. His patchy club form doesn’t appear to be influencing Southgate’s selection.
Kyle Walker – Against Belgium, Walker returned to the third centre-back role he performed admirably at the 2018 World Cup. He has superior defensive instincts to Alexander-Arnold, who more naturally suited to being a wing-back, and having both in the same team is beneficial.
Conor Coady – Eric Dier replaced the Wolves captain against Belgium, only to have a mixed evening at the heart of the defence. It could signal the opportunity for Coady to return to the line-up, having scored his first international goal against Wales.
Harry Maguire – Although dropped from the September squad and left out of the team against Wales, Maguire returned against Belgium and is part of the long-term vision and would be expected to keep his place for the Denmark game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – His defensive weakness remains a concern, particularly at international level – Belgium even appeared to target his side of the pitch. But playing as a wing-back flanking a back-three at least provides more protection in that sense. Going forward, he is world class.
Kieran Trippier – Using Trippier on the left, certainly in competitive games, seems to be the way forward for Southgate at the moment. Ben Chilwell, who was ruled out against Belgium, appears to be the only real competition as Southgate doesn’t consider Bukayo Saka a defender.
Kalvin Phillips – Southgate appears to be well taken with Leeds man Phillips since handing him an international debut last month. He could reclaim his starting place from Jordan Henderson, whom he replaced just after the hour mark against Belgium and is a doubt.
Declan Rice – West Ham’s Rice is fast becoming a regular England starter for competitive games. The only downside of pairing him with Phillips is that the team lacked creativity the last time they faced Denmark last month. That game ended as a dreary 0-0.
Mason Mount – The England boss is clearly extremely fond of Mount, labelled the Chelsea star ‘very underappreciated’ after his winning goal against Belgium. The alternative in this role remains in-form Jack Grealish, who is struggling to prove himself to Southgate.
Harry Kane – Everton’s Premier League September Player of the Month Dominic Calvert-Lewin has started against both Wales and Belgium so far this month, but there is a significant murmur that Southgate will turn to Kane for this one.
Jadon Sancho – A difficult start to the international break was brought about by a lack of judgement regarding COVID-19 protocols, but Sancho appeared as a late substitute against Belgium and could now start the final game of the international break.