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The best XI available from Southgate's latest England squad.

Friday 17th March 2017
England manager Gareth Southgate announced his squad for the upcoming games against Lithuania and Germany. Surprise inclusions came in the form of; Jermain Defoe, Michael Keane, Jake Livermore and Jese Lingard. These were the unfamiliar names who came in place of established starters like Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Andy Carroll.

The Three Lions face Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday before they travel back to home turf for a match against Lithuania.

In order for Southgate's men to take maximum points from these two games, here's the starting XI that I think he should go with.

GK: Tom Heaton

 Tom Heaton has played 25 league games for Burnley.
Tom Heaton has played 25 league games for Burnley.
The Burnley goalkeeper has been nothing short of phenomenal this season. Many people would expect to see Joe Hart in this position but it's time for fresh young blood to be inserted into the picture. In the past decade, England have failed on so many occasions with the same old faces, so adding a new face like Tom Heaton will help reverse the cycle of failure. The 30-year old has kept 6 clean sheets this season whilst possessing an impressive 99% claim success.

RB: Kyle Walker

As England's best right-back it's no surprise to see the 26-year old in the squad. Kyle Walker has been one of the few shining lights in this England squad over the years. His constant willingness to bomb up and down the right flank helps sustain England's width in attack. His blistering pace and unrivalled strength is an asset at both ends of the pitch.

LCB: Phil Jones

 Phil Jones' average pass length is 20m.
Phil Jones' average pass length is 20m.
Many had dismissed the Manchester United defender as a lost cause. However, under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho, Jones has revived his dwindling career. He's fast become a solid rock at the heart of United's defence. In my humble opinion, the 25-year old has always been better than Gary Cahill. Cahill is a player that always seems to be one mistake away from conceding a goal, with Jones being the younger of the two, it'll be easier to coach any mistakes out of him.

RCB: Chris Smalling

The reason Chris Smalling should get the nod ahead of John Stones is because the former offers more solidity at the back. John Stones in his own right is a special player that would probably be more suited to the Spanish national team. On the other hand, Chris Smalling is a no nonsense defender that can contribute to building up play from the back whilst being formidable in 1v1 situations.

LB: Luke Shaw

Despite playing less than 10 hours of league football this season, Gareth Southgate made the bold call to select the former Southampton prospect. Regardless of what anyone may say, I still think Luke Shaw is England's best left-back. All he needs is a coach that can nurture the best out of him instead of banishing him to the sidelines for any little mistake. It doesn't matter how much Jose Mourinho tries to marginalise him, Shaw's talent will always be present and thankfully Southgate continues to see that.

DM: Eric Dier

The hybrid defender/midfielder is an unknown quantity in English football. With the ability to play from the back and break through the lines, Dier is a brilliant asset for Southgate to have. He's a player that quickens play and helps it to be more progressive through the middle third. His positional awareness will help anchor England's midfield and shield the back four from being overloaded.

LCM: Dele Alli

The Frank Lampard of this generation has set the Premier League alight this season. Dele Alli has notched up 13 league goals this season alongside 3 assists. His form is one of the main reasons Tottenham have been able to sustain a lengthy title challenge. Alli has a knack of being in the right place at the right time with the right composure to finish the chance. There's a lot right with this kid and if Southgate can give him the freedom he craves, England could thrive against any team on the planet.

RCM: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Over the past few months, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revitalised his Arsenal career by moving into a more central role. It's clear that his days on the flanks are numbered and the English Pirlo is set to mount his throne as England's best central midfielder. Hopefully, Southgate sees sense and allows the 23-year old to continue to play in a box-to-box role in midfield.

LW: Raheem Sterling

Incisive, penetrative and creative, Raheem Sterling is nearly the complete package for an inverted winger. He can take defenders on the outside and also cut in to beat them. His dribbling patterns are varied and provide unpredictability in the final third. Pep Guardiola has also taught the youngster to be more effective in his erratic movements, teaching him when to cut in and when to run down to the by-line. These are all attributes that will serve England well in the upcoming years.

RAM: Adam Lallana

As England's most creative midfielder, Adam Lallana would serve well as the roaming playmaker of England's front three. The Liverpool talisman would almost act as a false winger, spending most of his time centrally. This would leave Kyle Walker to provide the width down the right.

Alongside Dele Alli, Lallana could help to provide chaos in the final third for England, thus providing fluidity to England's movement. Lallana's ability to intricately link up with others would help create continuous shooting opportunities.

ST: Marcus Rashford

As Harry Kane is set to be sidelined for another six weeks, Marcus Rashford has been given the go-ahead by the England gaffer. At the Euros, it was only in the 15-minute cameo by the youngster vs. Iceland, that England fans saw any quality from their side. All the Premier League stars in the England team failed, whilst this young kid showed his true talent. Yes, Jermain Defoe may have bags of goal scoring experience, but it's Rashford who should be the focal point of the attack against Germany.
Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 


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