Looking like the most likely option of a trio of John Stones, Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker would offer England the chance to play with their three most in-from defensive players. The bookies see Stones (1/3) and Maguire (1/5) as guaranteed starters for the first group game against Croatia, with Walker at shorter odds of 5/6.
Manchester City’s defender, in particular, has played his way back into the England reckoning, with his dominant club performances earning him his first call up since November 2019. At the same time, his versatility in being able to operate in his usual right-back position and England's central defence is another reason why he has managed to get into this spot.
Maguire is an obvious choice on the left side of a back three, due to his own club form, as well as his partnership with his Manchester United colleague, Luke Shaw, who is leading the race for the left wing back spot. The opposite flank could be occupied by Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold or Kieran Trippier, with all three possessing different attributes depending on what is required for specific opposition, but with Trippier earning more caps and continuing to do well with Atletico Madrid, he is expected to play too.