Jesse Lingard tipped to make England debut against Malta and forces club teammate to bench

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Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard is reportedly set to make his England debut in the World Cup qualifier against Malta at Wembley on Saturday.

Interim boss Gareth Southgate is all set for his first game in charge of the senior squad, and as reported by Sky Sports this week, he has already confirmed that Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott will start against Malta.

Southgate hinted in that press conference that he expected the team to be leaked, and it appears that has been the case with The Sun publishing what they believe will be the full line-up that takes to the pitch at Wembley on Saturday evening.

If it indeed does turn out to be the actual starting line-up, then the biggest surprise is the inclusion of Lingard, who will make his first appearance for England and force club teammate Marcus Rashford to the bench.

The 23-year-old has made five appearances in all competitions for United so far this season, scoring in the Community Shield win over Leicester City at Wembley in August while also registering an assist in one of his three Premier League outings.

Elsewhere, Ryan Bertrand is expected to be preferred to Danny Rose at left-back, joining Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill and John Stones in a back-four in front of goalkeeper Joe Hart.

In midfield, Rooney and Jordan Henderson have been tipped to start in deeper roles with Walcott, Dele Alli and Lingard in an attacking trident behind the main striker, Daniel Sturridge.

With kick-off fast approaching, it will soon become apparent as to whether or not this is indeed the starting line-up, with Southgate hoping that he’s got his selections right to produce a convincing performance against a Malta side that will undoubtedly be a stubborn unit and difficult to break down.

Predicted line-up from The Sun: Hart; Walker, Stones, Cahill, Bertrand; Henderson, Rooney; Walcott, Alli, Lingard; Sturridge.

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