UEFA Nations League: Predicting England's starting 11 against the Netherlands
- Who should start for England vs the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League semi-final?
A year on from England taking everyone by surprise to reach the World Cup Semi-Finals, the team is a win away from the Nations League Finals. The Three Lions will have to beat a young and talented Netherlands to get there though.
England have a number of young players in the team now that has just as much creativity as pragmatism. So, just how should England line up for the semi-finals?
Goalkeeper - Jordan Pickford
It has been a strange season for England's No 1. It is hard to believe it was under a year ago that he became the country's hero as he guided them to that famous penalty shoot-out victory. This season has had many ups and downs for the keeper, such as the disaster at Anfield as he handed Divok Origi a last-gasp winner.
However, his performances were much improved towards the latter stages of the season, keeping seven clean sheets in the last 10 games of the season. He certainly deserves to retain the England No 1 shirt.
Right-back - Trent Alexander-Arnold
The Liverpool right-back has gone from strength to strength in recent seasons. This was topped off on Saturday night as he was crowned a Champions League winner with his boyhood club. This is a great opportunity for him to get experience playing at the top level ahead of Euro 2020.
Centre-back - John Stones
Having played a big role in the Manchester City side this season with his calm defensive style, he should slot into this England team perfectly. He is a solid defender with great composure and passing ability.
Centre-back - Harry Maguire
Another player who peaked last summer and has since then had an up-and-down season, at Leicester. However, he has certainly done enough both this season and for England to warrant his place in the starting 11. Called Slab Head, it would not be the same without him!
Left-back - Ben Chilwell
Chilwell has had an outstanding season for Leiceter. He has upped his game this last season, which has seen him being linked with big moves to Europe's top clubs. The 22-year-old has made six senior appearances already for the Three Lions and now certainly deserves his chance playing international football.
Defensive Midfielder - Jordan Henderson
After getting his hands on the Champions League trophy, Henderson will be hungry to continue to prove his doubters wrong. After a fairly solid World Cup, when he provided cover for the defence to go with his excellent leadership, he certainly deserves to start
Centre Midfielder - Ross Barkley
Though he has struggled to break into the Chelsea side this season, he has done very well when representing his country in the last few months. Following the poor form of Jesse Lingard this year, Barkley probably deserves a chance to prove his worth.
Central Midfielder - Dele Alli
Alli is a player who is yet to reach his full potential in an England shirt. He must seize this opportunity before the Euros begin. Following Tottenham Hotspur's loss in the Champions League, it will be Alli's chance to prove he can make an impact.
Right Wing - Jordan Sancho
One of the most exciting talents in English football, he has thrived despite all the challenges thrown at him so far. Perhaps a start in the Nations League is a bit early for him, but it would give him a good chance to prove his worth before the Euros and make his way into Gareth Southgate's long term plans.
Striker - Harry Kane
If fit, he's one the best strikers in the world. The England captain can almost single-handily fire England to glory on his day. However, with Kane's recent injury problems, there is a chance that Callum Wilson could get a much deserved and overdue chance in an England shirt.
Left Wing - Raheem Sterling
The Premier League 'player of the year' is surely the first name on Gareth Southgate's team sheet. It has been an amazing year for Sterling -- not only did he play for the first English men's team to win the 'domestic triple', but he also scored 25 goals and has 14 assists. He knows he needs to start showing England fans what he can do after a disappointing World Cup campaign. The Nations League gives Sterling an outstanding chance to prove he can play at his best on the international stage.