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Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher disagree on England's World Cup starting XI

Josh Lawless

| Last updated 

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher disagree on England's World Cup starting XI

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have both selected their starting XI for England's World Cup opener against Iran.

England kick off their tournament with a Group B clash against Carlos Queiroz's side on Monday 21 November at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

The Three Lions have their squad numbers confirmed and have jetted off to Qatar for the showpiece. Gareth Southgate is still likely deliberating over his starting XI but former England internationals Neville and Carragher have selected their side.

Unsurprisingly, the punditry pair were not exactly in agreement over the set-up and the team they think Southgate should pick.


For instance, Neville is still advocating for Southgate to go for three at the back like the previous World Cup but Carragher wants a more traditional four-man backline.

"One of the best ways to beat a team like Iran, USA and Wales is to stop counter-attacks and defend well," Neville told Sky Sports.

"In international football, if you get counter-attacked, you're going to be in big trouble."

Both concur that Jordan Pickford is still England's best goalkeeper and that Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham is the preferred pairing in the middle of the park.

Neville had Ben White, John Stones and Harry Maguire across the back, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Luke Shaw in as wing-backs.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Carragher, despite being a big Alexander-Arnold fan, slotted in Kieran Trippier at right-back and took out White for an extra body in midfield in the form of Mason Mount.

Harry Kane and Phil Foden were two thirds of the front three for both Neville and Carragher - though the former went for Raheem Sterling whereas the latter had Bukayo Saka starting on the right flank.

Explaining his decision, Carragher said: "This season, his [Sterling's] form has not been great and lately in an England shirt. Saka has been playing that well in that position.

"I prefer Raheem on the left, so it wasn't a case of Saka versus Sterling. It was always going to be Saka on that side and then it's Sterling versus Foden.

"I just think the actual ability of Foden, the way he's playing since the European Championships, I'd go with him."

The teams in full:

Gary Neville: Pickford, White, Dier, Stones, Alexander-Arnold, Rice, Bellingham, Shaw, Foden, Sterling, Kane.

Jamie Carragher (4-3-3): Pickford, Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Rice, Bellingham, Mount, Saka, Foden, Kane.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy, Sky Sports & Lineup builder

Topics: Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, England, Football World Cup

Josh Lawless
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