How could England line up for Germany friendly on Friday?
By Michael Hincks
Last Updated: 08/11/17 1:10pm
With a host of England players dropping out of the squad through injury, how could Gareth Southgate's side line up against Germany this Friday?
England have been left with a squad of just 22 players for their upcoming World Cup warm-up fixtures against Germany and Brazil.
Pick your England XI v Germany
Who would you select in your England XI for the friendly against the world champions?
Injury ruled Dele Alli (hamstring) out before the squad announcement, while Raheem Sterling (back), Fabian Delph (calf), Harry Kane (hamstring) Harry Winks (ankle) and Jordan Henderson (thigh) have since withdrawn.
Current England squad
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland, Joe Hart, Jordan Pickford
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand, Gary Cahill, Joe Gomez, Phil Jones, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker
Midfielders: Jack Cork, Eric Dier, Jesse Lingard, Jake Livermore, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ashley Young
Forwards: Jamie Vardy, Tammy Abraham, Marcus Rashford
As a result, Southgate has called up Jake Livermore and Jack Cork for cover in midfield, having already named the uncapped trio of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Joe Gomez and Tammy Abraham in his original squad.
With just three forwards to choose from, and a heavily depleted midfield, Southgate must find his strongest XI as the Three Lions prepare to host reigning world champions Germany on Friday before taking on Brazil four days later.
Here, we look at three possible line-ups Southgate could opt for…
Option 1: 3-4-3
England operated a 3-4-3 for last month's final World Cup Qualifier against Lithuania, and Southgate has stated his desire to continue with three at the back as they build up to next summer's World Cup.
From the current selection, Gary Cahill, John Stones and Phil Jones are likely to be favoured in defence over Harry Maguire - who made his Three Lions debut against Lithuania - and Michael Keane, who was a late call-up to the squad.
In central midfield. Eric Dier is comfortably England's most experienced option. Cork and Loftus-Cheek are yet to represent the senior side, while Livermore has made five appearances. All three will likely get a run-out in the upcoming friendlies, but it could well be the West Brom man who partners Dier on Friday.
A 3-4-3 would also bring Jesse Lingard and Ashley Young into contention, though with the latter plying his trade in defence of late, it could be his Manchester United team-mate who gets the nod in a more advanced position.
A start for Lingard could see him play alongside Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford up front, leaving the uncapped Abraham to make an impact off the bench.
Option 2: 3-5-2
A switch to 3-5-2 would see Southgate having the option of playing two of Cork, Livermore and Loftus-Cheek next to Dier in central midfield.
Given Cork was called into the squad as late cover, Loftus-Cheek could be favoured over the Burnley midfielder.
Southgate handed Loftus-Cheek his England U21s debut back in 2015, and it appears inevitable that the 47-year-old will give the Chelsea loanee his first cap at senior level as well.
Further up field, the formation would likely rule Lingard out of contention, leaving Vardy and Rashford as strike partners up front.
Option 3: 4-3-3
If England reverted back to 4-3-3 - as they did for the majority of their World Cup qualifying campaign - it would force Southgate to choose from two of Cahill, Stones and Jones in central defence.
Cahill has regularly featured under Southgate when available, while Stones played in England's two most recent qualifiers, having made an impressive start to the season with Manchester City.
Jones has been in and out of the England squad under Southgate, making just three appearances since the former defender took charge last year, and it could well be the Manchester United man who loses his place in a proposed back four.
Once again, the formation would have Southgate picking three central midfielders and three forwards.
Other questions for Southgate
Joe Hart has started 10 of Southgate's 12 games in charge of England, though the West Ham goalkeeper will face fierce competition from Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford for the No 1 jersey in Russia.
Southgate will likely keep faith in Hart, though the two upcoming friendlies will see Southgate rotate as he considers his options.
Meanwhile, Kyle Walker's form for Manchester City this season makes him favourite to start on the right, either in defence or midfield, though his old team-mate Kieran Trippier will be hoping to prove his worth in training.
On the left, Danny Rose's return from injury means Southgate must decide between the Tottenham defender and Ryan Bertrand, who has started seven of the last eight England matches in Rose's absence. The uncapped Joe Gomez remains an outside call to make the XI.
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