Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

England team news: Surprise World Cup starter Harry Maguire ‘never stops talking about playing for England’

Maguire is one of a raft of England players who will be making their first-ever appearance in a World Cup game

Ed Malyon
Friday 15 June 2018 07:44 BST
In Maguire, Southgate has a player desperate to play for England
In Maguire, Southgate has a player desperate to play for England (AFP/Getty Images)

Harry Maguire will live his World Cup dream on Monday as he starts for England in their tournament opener against Tunisia.

The Leicester City defender is such a Three Lions fanatic that he went to Euro 2016 as a fan with his friends to cheer England on.

And in an exclusive interview with The Independent, Maguire's Leicester teammate Wilfried Ndidi has revealed just how much international football means to the former Hull City and Sheffield United defender.

“Harry is a solid rock at the back and a contemporary defender who is so passionate about playing for his nation," Ndidi said as part of a wide-ranging interview to be published on Friday.

"He never stops talking about playing for England, even in the dressing room so that should certainly mean a lot for him.”

Maguire is expected to start in a three-man defence alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker, with Kieran Trippier and Ashley Young understood to be preferred starters at wing-back.

Eric Dier will miss out in favour of Jordan Henderson in midfield, where Gareth Southgate is looking to attack the Tunisians.

Jesse Lingard has got the nod over Ruben Loftus-Cheek to start in an advanced role alongside Dele Alli while Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane are locked in to start up front with a knock to Marcus Rashford's knee preventing him from building on the momentum of an impressive performance against Costa Rica.

Expected England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Henderson, Lingard, Alli, Young; Sterling, Kane.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in