Predicting England’s starting line-up for their clash with Kosovo

England vs Kosovo

England are set to play their second and final game of the current international break on Tuesday.

Gareth Southgate’s side would take on Bulgaria on Saturday evening.

England won 4-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Harry Kane and a 55th-minute strike from Raheem Sterling.

That win kept England top of Group A with nine points from three games.

As for their opponents on Tuesday, Kosovo, they are now second in Group A.

They would beat the Czech Republic 2-1 on Saturday to give them eight points from their opening four group games.

Here is how England could line up on Tuesday.

No room for Alexander-Arnold

Jordan Pickford started for England vs Bulgaria and he has been England’s main keeper for pretty much all of the time Southgate has been at the helm.

Pickford had another solid game vs Bulgaria and there doesn’t seem to be any reason why he would be dropped on Tuesday.

Moving onto the right-back spot, after a poor 2018/19 with Tottenham, Kieran Trippier was completely omitted from England’s Nations League squad.

However, Trippier then moved to Atletico Madrid over the summer. And after a solid start to the 2019/20 campaign, he appears to have won back the favour of Southgate.

Not only was Trippier recalled to the latest England squad, but Southgate also chose him over Trent Alexander-Arnold to start vs Bulgaria.

Given how well TAA has been performing both last season and this season for Liverpool, Southgate must clearly be a big fan of Trippier to chose him over TAA.

A case could also be made that Southgate wants to rely on players who have proven themselves for England in the past, hence why he started Trippier on Saturday.

That probably means the now Atletico man will get the nod vs Kosovo as well.

MADRID, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 01: Kieran Trippier of Atletico Madrid celebrates at the end of the the Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and SD Eibar SAD at Wanda Metropolitano on September 01, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Gomez vs Keane

As for England’s centre-backs, like Pickford, Harry Maguire is almost nailed-on to start any competitive game for England.

That just leaves the space next to him up for grabs. And with John Stones not in the current squad, it is pretty much a straight fight between Michael Keane and Joe Gomez for the place.

Michael Keane was given the nod over Gomez vs Bulgaria, perhaps because Gomez hasn’t featured in Liverpool’s last three league outings.

But with the England games quite close together Southgate may wish to switch his side up a little bit and start Gomez vs Kosovo.

As for the left-back spot, Southgate may take a similar approach to the Gomez/Keane battle and give Ben Chilwell a runout this time around after Danny Rose started vs Bulgaria.


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Maddison to debut?

Moving onto England’s midfield three, Declan Rice was the man in the holding spot for the Three Lions vs Bulgaria with Jordan Henderson further up the pitch.

Despite Bulgaria being in pretty poor form recently, Southgate opted for, what could be seen as a pretty safe midfield.

Both Rice and Henderson are capable of sitting for England and a case could be made that starting them both vs Bulgaria was a bit unnecessary.

However, it worked in England’s favour, meaning Southgate could well do the same again on Tuesday.

That just leaves the final spot in England’s three-man midfield, which was given to Ross Barkley on Saturday.

Barkley did an ok job but never really set the world on fire vs Bulgaria.

Mason Mount was also given a runout in England’s last match.

So, with Barkley failing to impress and Mount having already been given his debut, Southgate may opt for James Maddison to fill the more attacking role vs Kosovo.

Maddison has yet to play for England’s senior side. But he has started the season well with Leicester, providing two assists in four league games.


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Recover right.

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Sancho over Rashford

In a similar vein to Pickford and Maguire, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, at this point, are almost bound to start for England.

That gives Southgate one spot in England’s attack to fill up. Marcus Rashford occupied that spot vs Bulgaria, starting on the left.

However, while he did win a penalty, Rashford’s display wasn’t overly impressive.

As a result, Jadon Sancho could take his place on Tuesday evening.

Starting Sancho would also allow Sterling to move over to his favoured left side with the Borussia Dortmund man starting on the right.


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Your @bt_uk Player of the Match

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England’s predicted XI

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