With no Nick Pope in the squad, who misses out through injury, Jordan Pickford is the undisputed number one for Southgate. The Everton keeper has experienced a rough season where his form has been patchy throughout, but due to his ability to play with his feet, this has seen him be the number one for England for over three years and Southgate has remained loyal to the goalie despite his poor form, so Pickford will be the starting goalie for England come the 13th.
Our Predicted England Starting XI Following the 33-Man Provisional Squad
RB: Kyle Walker
The right-back has experienced a solid season with Manchester City as they won the Premier League title and Walker has been a key part of the England team since the World Cup either playing as a centre-back or a right-back.
Depending on the system that Southgate will want to play will determine whether Walker will possibly play or not. As he is in the squad, there are three other right-backs and Trent Alexander Arnold could end up here instead. However, Kieran Trippier, a title-winner with Atletico Madrid, is a Southgate favourite.
CB: John Stones
After experiencing a resurgence in his career this season, Stones is one of England’s best centre-backs. Like Walker and Pickford, Stones was key in the run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and has formed a partnership with Harry Maguire for England.
This partnership will be invaluable come to the tournament as both players are comfortable playing next to each other and after a fabulous season at City, there doesn't seem to be any way he misses out.
CB: Harry Maguire
Arguably England’s best centre-back this year, Maguire will face a race to be fit for the first game of the tournament, as he is going to miss the Europa League final between Manchester United and Villarreal.
Even if Maguire is not fully match-fit, then he will probably start the game due to how much trust that Southgate has in the centre back and the leadership that he brings to the backline.
LB: Luke shaw
England’s best left-back this season, Shaw, like Stones, has seen a resurgence in his career this season and could possibly start in the left-back position come June 13th.
However, Ben Chilwell has begun to pick up form in recent weeks and when playing for England has looked strong in the left-back position. Similarly, Southgate has used Trippier at left-back, but this option is likely due to it being very unnatural for him and an area that could be easily exploited by the opposition.
CM: Declan Rice
A stalwart of the England team in recent games, Rice has become one of the first names on the team sheet for England as he sits in front of the defence, and with the injury to Kalvin Phillips, it is likely that Rice will be the starting defensive midfielder for England.
Ever since his debut in 2019, Rice has been a key part of the England team as they lacked a proper defensive midfielder. So, he is one of the players that is certain to start against Croatia unless he is struggling from a lack of match fitness due to recently returning from injury.
CM: Jordan Henderson
Although Henderson is a key part of the England team and offers a similar drive from midfield that he does for Liverpool, his lack of match fitness and game time could hinder his chances to start on the 13th of June.
If Henderson is not to play, this could possibly see Mount pushed further back in midfield and allow for another play to fill in the front line, with either Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford or Jadon Sancho doing so.
It is unlikely that Henderson will play in the first game against Croatia, but he may become a key player in a deeper role further into the tournament.
LW: Phil Foden
Having made his senior England debut back in September, Phil Foden has impressed when he has played for the team even bagging himself the man of the match award after his performance versus Iceland in the Nations League.
Depending on his performance in the Champions League final and friendlies Foden may possibly be given a starting position come the first game of the tournament, but his lack of experience in major tournaments could hinder him.
CAM: Mason Mount
Like Rice, Mount has become a stalwart in recent games for the England squad, and this likely means that he will be starting for England against Croatia. However, it is unknown whether he will start in the front three or in midfield.
It makes more sense for Mount to be played in midfield as this would allow Grealish, Sancho or Rashford to move into the front three. But as mentioned before this could mean Henderson or Foden miss out. No matter where he plays, Mount will start the game, as he really is deserving of it.
RW: Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling's form has tailed off in recent weeks at Manchester City, but he seems to be one of Southgate's main men no matter the occasion. Sterling will also be wanting to perform at a major tournament for the first time as at the 2014 World Cup, Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, Sterling was one of England's worst performers.
In fact, there isn't really much justification for him to start ahead of Marcus Rashford or Jack Grealish, but we expect Southgate to pick him once again.
ST: Harry Kane
England’s captain is the first name on the teamsheet and is arguably the best player in the Premier League once again after claiming a third Golden Boot and the top assists award in the league.
Kane is the favourite to win the top scorer award in the summer and the main man for his country once more.
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