Jack Wilshere would have Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Eric Dier in the starting XI for England’s World Cup opener against Iran.
The Three Lions travel to Qatar as one of the favorites to win the tournament and with Gareth Southgate naming his 26-man squad, the excitement is starting to build.
While the clashes against Wales and the United States are likely to be decisive in the outcome of Group B, it is a test with Iran that the Three Lions will turn to on Monday November 21 as they hope to start their campaign at full speed.
James Maddison, Conor Gallagher and Callum Wilson have all made the squad and are now hoping they can work their way into Southgate’s starting XI, while Harry Maguire and Raheem Sterling are hoping their lack of form won’t hamper their chances of being involved.
With just over a week to go, England fans will decide who they think should start their World Cup opener, something talkSPORT’s Andy Goldstein also wondered.
After Southgate revealed his squad, he asked former Arsenal star Wilshere and talkSPORT regular Darren Bent to give their best England XI, with markedly different results.
Below you can see how England would line up against Iran if Wilshere and Bent were the Three Lions manager.
Unsurprisingly, Wilshere picked all three Arsenal players in the squad to start!
Jack Wilshere’s England XI
“I had two different teams and this is for the first, Iran. I decided not to play three because, with no disrespect to Iran, I don’t think we need to three central defenders.
When asked who was in goal, Wilshere replied: “Aaron Ramsdale. You ask me for my team, I want a team that can play from behind and a goalkeeper is a key player in that. He’s the best with his feet, that’s a fact.
“Thirty [Alexander-Arnold] in the right rear, [Ben] white and [Eric] Dier at centre-back and Luke Shaw at left-back. Kyle Walker is injured for the first game, will you play him with one leg?
“I’ve decided not to play as a three but what I would do is when we develop I’ll move Trent in the middle with Rice and I’ll develop with a third back so Dier would be in the middle, Ben White on the right and Luke Shaw on the left.
“So when England attack I build with two midfielders, Rice and Trent, so obviously Declan Rice would be your midfielder.
“Jude Bellingham would be one of your number eights, Phil Foden would be the other.
“Harry Kane would be at No.9. I think it’s important that when you play Harry Kane your wide men – Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka – have the pace to run behind.
Darren Bent’s England XI
“I went with what I think Gareth will do,” Bent said.
“I left with [Jordan] Pickford, [Kyle] Walker, [John] Rocks, [Ben] White. Walker is therefore to the right of the three central defenders, with Ben White on the left.
“Kieran Trippier at right-back, Luke Shaw at left. Safety first!
“I have [Declan] rice and [Jude] Bellingham in the middle of the park, then my first three are [Bukayo] Saka, Harry Kane and Phil Foden.