England manager Gareth Southgate has reportedly selected Harry Maguire and Bukayo Saka for Monday’s World Cup opener against Iran.
After Ecuador easily defeated hosts Qatar in the first match of the tournament, England and Iran will now begin their campaigns in Group B.
There has been much speculation over the composition of Southgate’s team, with the Three Lions manager allowed to choose between a defensive three or a back four.
However, Sky Sports News reports that the decision has been taken to go with the latter, with Maguire, as predicted, keeping his spot.
The 29-year-old has been limited to five starts and four substitute appearances in all competitions this season because he is no longer Manchester United’s first choice.
The 29-year-old is no longer Manchester United’s first choice, with only five starts and four substitute appearances in all competitions this season.
Maguire has also played only 233 minutes of football since making his debut for England against Germany in their UEFA Nations League dead-rubber on September 26.
On that occasion, Maguire, who was then playing on the left side of a back three, conceded a penalty and put in another poor display as England fought back to secure a 3-3 draw.
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According to the report, Maguire will play alongside John Stones, with Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw starting at fullback.
Saka earned a spot on the right side as a result of his four goals and six assists in the Premier League this season.
However, Saka only started half of England’s Nations League matches, with three additional appearances coming as a substitute, and his selection is viewed as a mild surprise.