Southgate’s selection dilemmas heading into World Cup

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Gareth Southgate admits he has been left with some “serious decisions” after England’s encouraging World Cup preparations.

After beating Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley over the weekend, Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck goals secured the Three Lions a comfortable 2-0 win against Costa Rica on Thursday evening.

With the final warm-up friendlies out of the way and Group G opener against Tunisia edging closer, Press Association Sport’s Simon Peach takes a look at some of the decisions Southgate has to make before June 18.

Who to pick in goal?

Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Jack Butland
Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Jack Butland are competing to be England’s goalkeeper at the World Cup (Mike Egerton/PA)

Stones plus two?

John Stones
John Stones was the only player to start both friendlies against Nigeria and Costa Rica (Steven Paston/Empics)

Rose or Young to be left back on the bench?

Danny Rose
Will Danny Rose get the nod for England’s World Cup opener against Tunisia (Mike Egerton/PA)

Henderson or Dier to start?

Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson
Eric Dier (left) and Jordan Henderson (centre) may not both be able to face Tunisia (Nick Potts/PA)

Kane and who else is able?

Harry Kane is the first name on the team sheet. A proven goalscorer, cool head and England’s captain in Russia, the question is how best to complement him. Raheem Sterling heads to the World Cup off the back of an outstanding season with Manchester City, but his struggles to translate club form on the international stage are well documented. Jamie Vardy and Welbeck have proven their worth, but Rashford gave the most compelling case during the friendlies to join Kane. Playing with a freedom all too uncommon at Manchester United this term, the 20-year-old scored an outstanding opener in a man-of-the-match display against Costa Rica.

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