How England could line up against Iceland

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How England could line up against Iceland

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how England could line up for Friday’s international friendly against Iceland.

England manager Gareth Southgate should be boosted by a handful of returning players for Friday’s international friendly against Iceland at Wembley.

The Three Lions’ final tune-up fixture before Euro 2024 comes four days after a 3-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina at St James’ Park, where nine troops were missing for various reasons.

Harry Maguire, Anthony Gordon and Luke Shaw all sat out the contest due to injury, and while the former two are closing in on returns, the latter is still not guaranteed to have healed in time for the Euros.

However, Bukayo Saka and John Stones should be fine after precautionary rests, while Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Kyle Walker and Kobbie Mainoo are back from their Champions League and FA Cup final commitments.

With Southgate surely wanting to test out his favoured Euros XI, Stones and Walker should both start in the backline with Jordan Pickford and Kieran Trippier, still operating as a makeshift left-back.

Marc Guehi should once again benefit from Maguire’s likely absence, unless Southgate springs a surprise and chucks in Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite for his full debut – an unlikely scenario.

As Trent Alexander-Arnold excelled in his midfield slot against Bosnia, the Liverpool man is in no position to be dropped, so Conor Gallagher should be sacrificed as Declan Rice returns to the engine room.

While Cole Palmer and Eberechi Eze both enjoyed successful Euro 2024 auditions at St James’ Park, Foden and Bellingham’s returns should see them cut from the ranks for Friday’s game, where Saka and Harry Kane – who scored as a substitute on Monday after a back issue – should also form a first-choice offensive quartet.

England possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Walker, Stones, Guehi, Trippier; Alexander-Arnold, Rice; Saka, Bellingham, Foden; Kane

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