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Nov 17, 2019 at 5pm UK
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How England could line up against Kosovo

:Headline: How England could line up against Kosovo:
Sports Mole looks at how England could line up for Sunday's final Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo, with Raheem Sterling returning to the starting XI.
By , Editor | 29d

England face their first ever trip to Kosovo on Sunday as their Euro 2020 qualification campaign comes to an end in Pristina with top spot in Group A already secured.

Gareth Southgate's side booked their place at next summer's tournament with a 7-0 drubbing of Montenegro on Thursday night, marking their 1,000th men's international in ruthless style.

The Three Lions could still need a point from this match to guarantee their status as one of the top seeds, though, and will be wary of a Kosovo side that gave them a scare in the reverse fixture.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how England could line up for the contest.




Southgate has already confirmed that Raheem Sterling will start Sunday's match after being dropped for the Montenegro rout following his bust-up with Joe Gomez, who was inexplicably booed when he came off the bench at Wembley.

Jadon Sancho is the most likely to make way for Sterling after Marcus Rashford impressed on Thursday night, although the identity of the front three could depend on whether Southgate opts to experiment with only three games left until he picks his squad for Euro 2020.

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham are both pushing for starts, with the latter having come off the bench to net his first international goal against Montenegro, although he is in the unfortunate position of competing with Harry Kane for the centre-forward role.

The England skipper notched his third international hat-trick in Thursday's rout to take him up to 31 goals in just 44 appearances, one more than Alan Shearer and well on course to break Wayne Rooney's all-time record of 53.

Kane and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were both taken off before the hour mark at Wembley, hinting that they could be involved in this match, although the latter faces additional competition from Liverpool teammate Jordan Henderson, who is now available again after sitting out the last match through suspension.

Kosovo's attacking style could lead Southgate to opt for the more workmanlike Henderson, and the rest of the midfield could once again depend on his level of experimentation - Declan Rice could be given another chance to show what he can do, while James Maddison will be hoping for his first international start after making his debut against Montenegro.

One area where chopping and changing is perhaps detrimental with only three games left until the squad is selected is in defence, with Southgate having used seven different variations of the back four in nine games this calendar year.

Harry Maguire's place is the only one which looks completely secure, although Ben Chilwell's hat-trick of assists against Kosovo is likely to have furthered his claim to start ahead of Danny Rose.

When fit, John Stones is usually preferred to Gomez, Tyrone Mings and the uncapped Fikayo Tomori, while at right-back Kieran Trippier will be hoping for a recall despite Trent Alexander-Arnold's performance on Thursday. body check tags ::

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool17161042142849
2Leicester CityLeicester17123240112939
3Manchester CityMan City16102444192532
4Chelsea179263125629
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd176742116525
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd166642519624
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves165922319424
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs166553023723
9Arsenal165742424022
10Crystal Palace166461418-422
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle176471724-722
12Burnley176382229-721
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton165472024-419
14Bournemouth175481924-519
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham175481928-919
16Everton165291928-917
17Aston Villa1743102330-715
18Southampton1743101836-1815
19Norwich CityNorwich1733111835-1712
20Watford171610932-239
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