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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Gareth Southgate opts for youth over experience at World Cup 2018

Harry Kane 8-11 favourite to be named England captain

England manager Gareth Southgate embraces skipper Harry Kane
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Gareth Southgate has opted for youth over experience with his England squad selection, including two uncapped players – Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope and Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold – in his 23-man group.

Pope looks like being the third-choice keeper, behind Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford, and is the biggest price to start the first game against Tunisia at 25-1 with Hills.

Harry Kane is the shortest-priced player to face Tunisia at 1-50 with Hills, while John Stones (1-25), Raheem Sterling (1-25), Kyle Walker (1-20), Eric Dier (1-10) and Jordan Henderson (1-10) seem highly likely to get the nod.

Gary Cahill is the only player in the squad with more than 50 caps to his name and he looks set to be on the fringes with Hills making him 7-2 to start the Three Lions' opener.

Central midfield looks the area in which there is least competition for places with Dier, Henderson, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Fabian Delph battling it out for two slots.

Loftus-Cheek is 3-1 to play the first game while Delph is 7-4.

Southgate still needs to settle on a captain but Betway make Kane their 8-11 favourite to wear the armband when the tournament starts. Dier is 2-1 to get the captaincy while Henderson is 4-1.

Kane is bet365's 5-4 favourite to be England's top goalscorer. Sterling and Dele Alli are 7-1 with Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy 8-1 chances.

Southgate has named a five-player standby list of Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana.

The manager said: "I believe this is a squad we can be excited about.

"It is a young group but with some really important senior players, so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance."

England are a best-priced 18-1 to win the tournament and 7-1 to reach the final.

They are 13-10 to finish top of Group G and 1-7 to qualify for the last 16.

England squad for World Cup 2018
GK: Butland, Pickford, Pope; DF: Alexander-Arnold, Cahill, Jones, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Rose, Young. MF: Dier, Alli, Lingard, Henderson, Delph, Loftus-Cheek; FW: Vardy, Rashford, Sterling, Welbeck, Kane.

Standby: Lallana, Heaton, Tarkowski, Cook, Livermore.


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Gary Cahill is the only player in the squad with more than 50 caps to his name and he looks set to be on the fringes
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