Andros Townsend names his England starting XI for the World Cup

Andros Townsend names his England starting XI for the first game of the World Cup… as the Everton winger reveals he’d pick Harry Maguire and Jude Bellingham but would LEAVE OUT Mason Mount and Trent Alexander-Arnold

  • Andros Townsend was asked to pick his England starting XI for the World Cup 
  • He has revealed that he would go with a 3-4-3 formation for the first game
  • He has decided to stand by Harry Maguire, and would pick Jude Bellingham
  • He has stated that he would omit Mason Mount and Trent Alexander-Arnold 
  • Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates

Andros Townsend has revealed who he would pick for England’s first game of the upcoming World Cup, and he has admitted that Gareth Southgate has some tough calls to make.

The tournament is due to get underway in exactly two months with hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador. England will then begin their campaign the following day against Iran before facing the United States and Wales in their other Group B fixtures.

Townsend was put on the spot by talkSPORT on Tuesday morning as he was asked who he would select for England’s first match if he was in charge. Unsurprisingly, Townsend stood by his Everton team-mate Jordan Pickford to retain his position as England’s No 1 despite his recent injury setback.

Andros Townsend has named his England starting XI for the first game of the World Cup

He has revealed he would pick Harry Maguire despite him being out of favour at Man United

Townsend has confirmed that he would pick Reece James over Trent Alexander-Arnold

‘In goal, no doubt, although the media pretend that there’s better options out there, Jordan Pickford,’ Townsend said.

The Toffees winger then explained that he would go with a 3-4-3 formation, naming Chelsea duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell as his wing-backs, with Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire making up the back three.

Townsend’s picks may surprise some as he conceded that Maguire and Chilwell have both struggled for game time this season, and he admitted that the latter’s spot in the side is ‘up for grabs’, but he still opted to stick with them.

His decision to choose James over Trent Alexander-Arnold may also cause some debate, but Townsend edged towards the former after the Liverpool defender’s indifferent start to the campaign.

Townsend would like to see Jude Bellingham partner Declan Rice in England’s midfield

Townsend would leave regular starter Mason Mount of his team at the World Cup

Moving into midfield, Townsend claimed that Declan Rice was a certain starter, but was hesitant to name the West Ham man’s partner in the centre of the park.

He eventually settled on Jude Bellingham, stating that the teenager ought to be considered ‘slightly’ ahead of Mason Mount in the pecking order.

Bellingham has enjoyed a strong start to the season in Germany, scoring in both of Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League matches to date.

Townsend would prefer to see Phil Foden play in the front three rather than Bukayo Saka

Mount has become a trusted member of Southgate’s first team, but is yet to find the net this term, and would have to settle for a place on the bench if Townsend had his way. 

Townsend rounded off his team by picking England regulars Raheem Sterling and captain Harry Kane, before saying he would ‘just’ go for Phil Foden over Bukayo Saka. 

Should Southgate decide to go with Townsend’s XI, he would be selecting eight of the same players who started England’s first game at last year’s Euros against Croatia, with James, Chilwell and Bellingham coming in for Tyrone Mings, Kieran Trippier and Kalvin Phillips. 

Townsend’s starting XI for England’s first game of the World Cup in Qatar in November

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