England squeezed past Iceland in their Nations League opener | Haflidi Breidfjord/Getty Images
After an unconvincing performance in a narrow 1-0 win over Iceland on Saturday, Gareth Southgate is facing several selection dilemmas ahead of England’s clash with Denmark on Tuesday.
England will be without Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood after the pair breached Covid-19 quarantine guidelines, leaving Southgate with fewer options. The 50-year-old will have been planning some alterations to his starting lineup following the disappointing display in Reykjavík but now is left with no choice but to change things up.
He could hand senior debuts to the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish and Conor Coady in what is likely to be a slightly unusual looking Three Lions side.
Pope has won just two caps for England | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images
Nick Pope (GK) – The Burnley shot-stopper was pipped to the Golden Glove award on the final day of the season in 2019/20 but still kept two more clean sheets than Dean Henderson and six more than current England number one Jordan Pickford. Pope deserves his chance between the sticks and Southgate may give him it on Tuesday.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – Following Kyle Walker’s needless red card against Iceland, the Liverpool youngster should be guaranteed to start in Copenhagen.
Joe Gomez (CB) – Although the 23-year-old gave away a penalty last time out, he’s established himself as one of England’s first choice centre backs so it would come as a surprise not to see him in the starting XI.
Tyrone Mings (CB) – Southgate’s choice of central defenders in the current squad baffled many, with the likes of Lewis Dunk and James Tarkowski not receiving the call-up. The former Middlesbrough manager is clearly a fan of Mings after handing him his England debut last year and he could earn his third cap here.
Kieran Trippier (LB) – With Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw ruled out of action, Southgate made the bold call not to select a recognised left back in his entire 23-man squad. Atletico Madrid’s Trippier is therefore likely to keep his place in his less accustomed slot on the opposite flank of the back four.
Mason Mount has made six appearances for England since making his debut last season | Marc Atkins/Getty Images
Declan Rice (DM) – Many people will be intrigued to see whether Southgate hands Leeds star Kalvin Phillips his debut despite never making a Premier League appearance, but it is more likely Rice will start and Phillips will come from the bench if he does make an appearance.
James Ward-Prowse (CM) – With Jordan Henderson, Harry Winks and James Maddison out injured, Southampton captain Ward-Prowse may keep his place in the starting lineup. He’s encouraged his teammates to embrace the dark arts of football after playing his part in Iceland’s penalty miss and his set-pieces alone make him a valuable asset.
Mason Mount (CM) – Mount is the player who will most likely benefit from Foden’s misbehaviour and slot back into the Three Lions’ midfield. The Chelsea man has made six appearances in an England shirt since being handed his debut last season and will want to build on an impressive debut campaign for Chelsea.
Kane and Ings are the two main competitors for the striking role | Haflidi Breidfjord/Getty Images
Jadon Sancho (RW) – After benefiting from a longer lay-off than his Premier League teammates following the Bundesliga’s earlier finish, Sancho is expected to keep his place in the England side.
Harry Kane (ST) – Greenwood may well have been rewarded for his outstanding breakout campaign last season with his first England start against Denmark, but that certainly won’t happen now. Captain Kane looked well below his best at the weekend as he continues to build up his fitness, but should retain his place ahead of Danny Ings.
Jack Grealish (LW) – Aston Villa’s Grealish was only called up by Southgate as a last minute replacement for Marcus Rashford but following the recent spate on injuries and ill-discipline, the winger could make earn his first England cap.