England faces Andorra in easy World Cup Qualifier: What should Southgate do?

England, with half the job done in qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Qatar, go up against Andorra for the second time later today; the previous one saw the Three Lions ease past their opponents and more of the same is expected from this one.

When the two European countries met back in September, Gareth Southgate threw everybody off with his team selection – experimenting with the full squad – this resulted in him using Trent Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder, Bamford as the leading man, adding Lingard back into the mix, also playing two of the Premier League’s best two right-backs together.

It didn’t backfire at all with the final score 4-0 at Wembley Stadium. Being forced to make late changes to his squad selection for England’s set of World Cup Qualifiers due to injuries, he should be experimenting once again.

Reece James, Kalvin Phillips, TTA and Harry Maguire are all absent, however, they have added quality replacements and have a strong squad without the aforementioned, regardless of who is brought in.

Who should get the nod from Gareth Southgate against Andorra?
Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale

The new Arsenal goalkeeper has been absolutely exceptional since taking over from Bernd Leno and actually prior to that as well while at Sheffield United. Of the three stoppers who are selected as Three Lions, Ramsdale has been the best performing stopper.

Ramsdale has only conceded two goals this season and the closest to him is Sam Johnstone with seven goals conceded. He deserves his 90 minutes over Pickford, who has let in the most goals this season with eight goals conceded by England’s number 1.

Defenders: Kyle Walker, Fikayo Tomori, John Stones, Luke Shaw

Fikayo Tomori deserves his shout over Tyrone Mings. Why? Because the ex-Chelsea man is part of a defence who remain unbeaten in the Serie A and who have also only conceded five goals in seven games. Mings has been the leading figure in an Aston Villa team who have leaked in many goals in the opening stages.

The rest of the backline will add the experience needed to ensure the win and the clean sheet as well as offer some attacking returns. If Luke Shaw gets benched for either Kieran Trippier or Ben Chilwell, it will still be enough protection at the back and aid upfront.

Midfield: Declan Rice, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish

Start Grealish! That’s it. If Pep Guardiola asked his club to pay £100m for him then we should not be questioning his quality and presence on the pitch; Pep has also started him in every competitive fixture this season, league and Champions League. Southgate has to take a page out of Pep’s book and play the top talent that is Jack Grealish.

Phil Foden over Mason Mount because the Manchester City player has been fine form – but in all fairness – either of the two will do. If Lingard does start, I don’t think it would upset many nor any, as the competition over this pair of qualifiers should see the Three Lions strolling in the park.

Forwards: Raheem Sterling, Tammy Abraham, Bukayo Saka

With Harry Kane after the record of being named England’s all-time top scorer, we can expect him to be introduced at some point in the game if he doesn’t start.

As per many outlets, they don’t foresee the country captain starting against Andorra and rather be included in the first XI against Hungry in their second fixture of this international break.

Because of this, starting Tammy Abraham makes all the sense in the world; the new AS Roma and Jose Mourinho target man has been in fine fettle and rightfully earned a national team recall. In his 10 Roma appearances across all competitions, he has scored four goals and assisted another two.

The last time Abraham scored for his country, however, came back in their Euro Qualifiers when he was used as a substitute and scored a goal in their 7-0 win over Montenegro back in 2019 – and the last time he featured for them – back in November 2020.

He will be hungry to play again and prove his worth. England and Andorra take the Estadio Nacional de Andorra pitch at 19:45 BST.

What is your score prediction for Andorra vs England?