Many England fans were disappointed when Gareth Southgate was named Harry Maguire in England’s starting line-up to face Iran in their 2022 FIFA World Cup opener.
England will face Iran in their first group stage match world football championship today (November 21). They will be hoping to get the campaign off to a successful start at Khalifa International Stadium.
With less than an hour left for the match to begin, the Three Lions have announced their starting lineup for the match. Manchester United defender Maguire has earned a notable spot in the first team of the year.
However, many England fans were not happy to see this midfielder start in the match against Iran. A section of supporters even took to social media to express their disappointment.
Here’s how Three Lions fans reacted to the news on Twitter:
One frustrated fan wrote on Twitter:
“Maguire begins, [Mason] Connect instead of [Phil] Foden, very athletic to give the opposition a chance to win!”
Another supporter wrote:
“The fact that Maguire is playing is really disrespectful to players who have played really well.”
It is worth noting that Maguire has been preferred by Southgate to Ben White. It remains to be seen now whether the defender can repay the manager’s faith by helping his team win against Iran.
Notably, the 29-year-old has struggled to hit form in the months leading up to the FIFA World Cup. He has made just nine appearances in all competitions for Manchester United this season.
Maguire fell apart under Erik ten Hag after he struggled against Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford in the team’s first two games. He’s only started one top game since then.
Who else is starting for England in their FIFA World Cup opener?
Everton’s Jordan Pickford was selected in place of Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope to start in goal. Meanwhile, Luke Shaw, John Stones and Kieran Trippier will partner Maguire in defence.
Southgate appears to have decided to deploy a three-man midfield, with Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Mason Mount his players of choice. Players such as Jordan Henderson, Conor Gallagher and Kalvin Phillips are on the bench.
Captain Harry Kane will lead the England team, with Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling playing alongside. Southgate could also bring in the likes of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford if needed.