International football is back and Gareth Southgate's first game as the official manager of England is against the current World Cup holders, Germany, at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday night. The friendly match could see a number of first caps given as four potential debutants were named in England's 26 man squad for both fixtures away in Germany and against Lithuania at Wembley Stadium. Here's how England could line up on Wednesday night as they seek to remain undefeated since their...
Despite his two calamities in Torino's draw against Inter on Saturday, Joe Hart has been an ever consistent figure in the England set up and his 68 appearances for the national team will likely see him keep his name on the team sheet on Wednesday.
Southgate could however be tempted to introduce the impressive Tom Heaton or Fraser Forster for the match, but Hart's experience on the international stage could prove to be the deciding factor.
An ever-reliable presence for Tottenham at the back, Kyle Walker is not only defensively accountable but his attacking nature also sees him set up goals, in which he has five so far this campaign. This will see him add much needed width to the England attack.
The 26-year-old came off nursing a wrist injury in Spurs victory over Southampton on Sunday and Southgate will be hoping it was nothing serious, but they have a more than qualified backup in Nathaniel Clyne if so.
John Stones may be guilty of a number of defensive mistakes, but his talent and ability is there and Southgate must persevere with the 22-year-old if he is to be a keystone in England's defence for many years to come.
Chris Smalling could also be a consideration for this position.
Gary Cahill is likely to lead the team in Germany after his impressive campaign to date with league leaders Chelsea, where he has scored four goals in their charge toward the title. He has more than certainly cemented his position in the starting lineup.
He will need to continue his rich vein of form as he looks to keep the German strike force off the score sheet.
Despite a few injuries this season Ryan Bertrand is likely to be Southgate's first choice left-back for this game as the usual starter, Danny Rose, is out injured and Luke Shaw has had limited game time at Manchester United.
Like Walker, Bertrand provides both defensive and attacking attributes which England will be relying upon to breakdown the German defence.
Eric Dier is a mainstay in Mauricio Pochettino's set up and despite not hitting the same form which almost took Tottenham to the title last season, the 23-year-old is likely to retain his place where he will be imperative in protecting his back four from the inevitable threat of the German attack.
Dier is seemingly one of the only defensive midfielders in England's 26 man squad, aside from Jake Livermore, who may be overlooked in this game due to his lack of experience on the international stage.
Oxlade-Chamberlain could find himself starting in the midfield as his tactical discipline and his defensive qualities, alongside his willingness to assist both the teams' defence and attack, will add much needed experience in the middle of the field.
With a large number of attacking midfielders in the 26-man-squad, the 23-year-old is the most sensible option for Southgate in this position.
Raheem Sterling has looked to have found his feet at City under Pep Guardiola after a rough start at the Etihad under Manuel Pellegrini.
His confidence has returned and his pace and movement will pose a threat to the fringes of the German attack if he is provided with enough service.
Jesse Lingard could also be a consideration for this position after his recent performances for Manchester United.
His star does not show any sign of losing its glimmer. Dele Alli might only be 20-years-old but he is vitally important to the England setup as his understanding of the game and ruthlessness in attack has seen him net 17 times for Spurs this season.
His role in behind the front man will be important as England look to breakdown a strong and well-organised German defence.
Adam Lallana was voted England player of the year in 2016 and he has continued to prove his importance both for club and country, and he is sure to be one of the first names on Southgate's team sheet.
He is in arguably career-best form, with seven goals and seven assists. Lallana's strengths lie in his defensive contribution which consistently sees him towards the top of distanced covered stats in the Premier League each week.
With a lack of depth in the out and out striker position, Southgate will be tossing up between the experience of Jermain Defoe, the youth of Marcus Rashford, and the unpredictability of Jamie Vardy up front.
Despite going over two months without a goal at club level earlier in the season, Vardy has since scored four in five and he could prove to be the difference early in the game as he looks to make it two from two against Germany.