Predicted England XI for 2018 World Cup: Rooney axed, four Iceland starters, shock Chelsea pick

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The post-mortem on another disastrous major tournament campaign for England will run and run after last night’s catastrophic last-16 elimination at the hands of Iceland at Euro 2016.

Roy Hodgson has gone, along with his senior staff, and investigations are underway into England’s preparations for France. But what about the players? How many of them will survive?

Here, CaughtOffside predicts what England’s team could look like for the 2018 World Cup in Russia – assuming we qualify of course! It’s a bit silly to look that far ahead, but it’s fun to speculate!

SEE MORE: (Images) Top tweets and memes from England’s 2-1 loss to Iceland

GK: Jack Butland

Joe Hart’s performances at Euro 2016 mean that his status as number one is in jeopardy. When Butland, who had a fantastic season for Stoke City, gets back to fitness, he could make the spot his own.

Jack Butland

RB: Nathaniel Clyne

The Liverpool full-back and Kyle Walker are in the midst of a competitive tussle for the right-back berth. Walker was first-choice in France, but we are backing Clyne to get the better of him before 2018.

CB: Chris Smalling

The Manchester United centre-back is improving with every season and two years under Jose Mourinho’s management is only going to help his development into England’s defensive leader.

CB: John Stones

Hodgson may have hoped to have the 22-year-old in his Euro 2016 lineup, but it came just a bit too soon for the ball-playing defender. The new manager should waste no time in blooding Stones though.

John Stones England v Netherlands

LB: Luke Shaw

Danny Rose’s emergence at left-back for England has been a great success story this season, but Shaw probably would have been first choice if fit, and could be phenomenal if he can stay injury free.

CM: Eric Dier

Probably England’s best performer in France, scoring a fabulous free-kick against Wales and emerging as a natural leader. Should be a regular for many years to come and could even be a shout for captain.

CM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek

We are backing the 20-year-old to emerge from the fringes of Chelsea and get into England’s team soon. Antonio Conte will make a man out of him, and Jack Wilshere’s fitness issues make him unreliable.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea

AMR: Danny Welbeck

The Arsenal forward was badly missed as England struggled for an end product from out wide. Welbeck brings that – 14 goals in 35 caps – and will be welcomed back by open arms for the World Cup campaign.

AMC: Dele Alli

Had a disappointing tournament but remains arguably England’s best young player and will be a regular fixture in the lineup for the next decade, hopefully further up the pitch where he is so dangerous.

AML: Marcus Rashford

It is less than six months since his Manchester United debut, but Rashford is one of the few positives to take from France. Bright in his two cameos down the left wing and could make that spot his own.

ST: Harry Kane

The Spurs hitman had a shocking tournament, but let’s not forget Kane is the first English striker to hit 20 Premier League goals in successive seasons since Alan Shearer. Wayne Rooney should step aside.

England 2018 World Cup XI

Next England manager: Our five contenders to replace hapless Hodgson, including two foreigners
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More Stories Chris Smalling Danny Rose Danny Welbeck Dele Alli Eric Dier Harry Kane Jack Butland Jack Wilshere joe hart John Stones Kyle Walker Luke Shaw Marcus Rashford nathaniel clyne Ruben Loftus-Cheek Wayne Rooney