England head to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar off the back of two deep runs in international tournaments.
The Three Lions reached the semi-finals of the last World Cup in 2018, while they were beaten finalists at Euro 2020 last summer.
Gareth Southgate has finally named his 26-player squad for the tournament. Here’s how his side could set out.
This is Southgate’s tried and trusted system. He’s unlikely to veer from it unless things go completely bonkers in Qatar (which, you know, can’t be ruled out).
He’s likely to lean on squad favourites such as Harry Maguire and Raheem Sterling despite their poor form so far this season, while the returning Kyle Walker would likely oust Eric Dier for a starting spot despite only just recovering from groin surgery.
Lineup: Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Stones; Trippier, Rice, Bellingham, Shaw; Mount, Sterling; Kane
So what if Southgate wants to keep his system but play with more aggression and flair? Well, he has enough options in his squad to go all guns blazing at the back-end of games where they desperately need a goal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, so often maligned for his international form, could come in at wing-back, while Bukayo Saka has been played on the left side of this formation before too.
Ahead of them, Marcus Rashford may also come in to provide more of a direct threat.
Lineup: Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Stones; Alexander-Arnold, Rice, Bellingham, Saka; Sterling, Kane, Rashford
From one balanced and neutral formation to another, Southgate is more likely to revert to a 4-3-3 should he opt to deviate from a three-at-the-back system.
This would allow the reintegration of Kalvin Phillips as the only true holding midfielder in the squad (Declan Rice has evolved beyond that now), while Walker would be able to play in his natural right-back position.
Lineup: Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Stones, Trippier; Phillips, Rice, Bellingham; Mount, Sterling; Kane
What if Southgate wakes up in his Qatar hotel suite one morning and decides he’s Mike Bassett? What would we do then?
Well, don’t you worry, we have this covered too as there are quite a few players who would suit a 4-4-2, such as winger Bukayo Saka and striker Callum Wilson.
Lineup: Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Stones, Trippier; Sterling, Rice, Bellingham, Saka; Wilson, Kane
You remember at the 2018 World Cup where both England and Belgium basically tried to throw their final group game in order to land on the ‘easier’ side of the knockout draw?
Well, what if Southgate wants to do that again?
He does have 26 players, after all. There’s several ways he could try and lose a game and give his starters a rest. Here’s how that team would probably look.
Lineup: Pope; White, Dier, Coady; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Maddison, Shaw; Foden, Grealish; Wilson