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England against Wales: Calvert-Lewin, Saka set to play first senior games for England



GARETH Southgate is expected to name an experimental England 11 in Thursday’s friendly with Wales before reverting to a more familiar side for next week’s Nations League qualifiers against Belgium and Denmark.

  Burnley’s Nick Pope is set to be given the chance to stake his claim to the No.1 spot, as pressure mounts on Jordan Pickford following another high-profile error in Everton’s recent win over Brighton.

  Pickford’s Toffees teammate, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is pushing for a senior debut at No.9 after a sensational start to the season and Harry Kane could be rested, with Tottenham manager, Jose Mourinho having pleaded with Southgate not to over-play his captain in the Wembley triple-header.

  Leicester winger, Harvey Barnes and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka will also be hoping for debuts.

  Southgate is facing another headache at left-back, where Ben Chilwell is not available after the Chelsea defender, Tammy Abraham and Jadon Sancho were ruled out of the game following a breach of COVID protocols at the weekend.

  Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford all missed the September internationals and could return to the side, while Conor Coady is expected to be given another chance at centre-half – particularly as Eric Dier has endured a relentless schedule with Spurs and Joe Gomez is out of form.

  Two of Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice and Harry Winks are expected to play in the midfield.

  England predicted 11 (4-2-3-1): Pope; Alexander-Arnold, Maguire, Coady, Saka; Rice, J. Henderson; Barnes, Grealish, Rashford; Calvert-Lewin.

  Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Tyrone Mings, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Kyle Walker, Michael Keane, Conor Coady, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Ben Chilwell, Bukayo Saka, Harry Maguire, Reece James.

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  Midfielders: Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Harry Winks, James Ward-Prowse, Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish, Harvey Barnes, Jordan Henderson.

  Forwards: Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Tammy Abraham, Danny Ings, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

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