Probable England Squad for World Cup 2018
Any good football team needs a leader at the back. Gary Cahill has had regular game time with Chelsea at the end of the campaign and looks raring to go. He is a natural leader at the back and should not just make the squad, but the playing eleven at Russia.
John Stones had an excellent first half of the season but barely featured in the second half of the season for Manchester City. He seems fit, and Gareth Southgate prefers him ahead of Chris Smalling because of Stones’ superior ball-playing ability.
Although fitness is a significant issue for Jones, he is undoubtedly one of the best centre-backs currently in England. He may not be starting games but is a good backup to have.
If there was toss between Tarkowski and Maguire, I reckon Southgate would go with Maguire. Harry Maguire is quick and packs a punch, and is an ideal partner for John Stones if Cahill does not make the eleven.
Walker has improved significantly since his move from Spurs to City and indeed resembles a £50m player. Gareth Southgate might play him as the third central defender, something he has tried in the recent international friendlies.
Trent has made the right wing-back position his own at Liverpool. If Walker plays as the third central defender, it is most likely that Trent can straightaway walk into the right wing-back role for England.
Ryan has been on good form at Southampton and has been the most consistent left-back of the season, and should naturally start as the left wing-back, assuming Southgate opts for three central defenders.
Danny Rose's career has been hampered by injuries. However, Rose has finished the season on a high. Similar to Trippier, Rose could serve as a deputy for Ryan Bertrand on the left wing.