England predicted line-up vs. North Macedonia: six changes made as Man City and Arsenal men return
All the latest England team news, injury updates, and predicted XI ahead of their European Championship qualification game against North Macedonia.
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England will be looking to round off a stellar European Championship qualification campaign with victory over North Macedonia on Monday evening. The Three Lions are already guaranteed top spot in their group having won six and drawn one of their seven matches thus far, and will be expecting a positive result in Skopje against a nation who themselves have taken just seven points in the same number of fixtures.
Last time out, England saw off minnows Malta at Wembley, with an own goal and a customary Harry Kane strike proving enough to secure a relatively muted 2-0 win. That result means that should Gareth Southgate's men avoid an upset on their travels on Monday night, they will complete a full calendar year without tasting defeat. The last time England lost a game of football was the World Cup quarter final against France back in December.
Their most recent meeting with North Macedonia came in June, when a Bukayo Saka hat-trick, a Kane brace, and efforts from Marcus Rashford and Kalvin Phillips were enough to wrap up an emphatic 7-0 win. But how will the Three Lions line up this time around? We've taken a closer look at the latest England team news and how Southgate's side could line up below...
England Team News
England are set to be without both Jarrod Bowen and Kieran Trippier on Monday evening. The former was an unused substitute against Malta on Friday night, while the latter completed a full 90 minutes at right-back. It is understood that neither player has travelled with Southgate's squad; Bowen is said to have picked up an injury in training, while Trippier has left the contingent to deal with a personal matter.
That leaves Southgate with even fewer potential options on the left side of his defence. Already missing long-term absentees Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell, the England manager has often deployed Trippier in that position before, and relied upon Fikayo Tomori to fulfil the role against Malta last week. Nevertheless, the national boss remains relatively unflustered about the situation.
Speaking in the build-up to Monday's clash with North Macedonia, he said: “We’ve got a couple of options [at left-back]. We can find a couple of different solutions to the issue. We’ve adapted to a lot of situations over the last few years, and we’re comfortable doing that again tomorrow. Fik did it the other day, Rico Lewis, Marc Guehi can play there.”
Elsewhere, Jack Grealish and Declan Rice are expected to start after being rested on Friday, while Trent Alexander-Arnold may continue in an advanced midfield role after impressing in that position against Malta. Harry Kane could drop to the bench after scoring his 62nd international goal last time out. Other than that, it remains to be seen just how experimental Southgate decides to be in a match which ultimately represents a dead rubber for an England side who have long since booked their place at next summer's European Championships in Germany.
England Predicted XI
Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, Marc Guehi, Rico Lewis; Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Trent Alexander-Arnold; Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish.