Gareth Southgate’s return to the midfield tandem of Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier has not been a popular decision from England fans, particularly those of a West Ham persuasion.
The Liverpool and Tottenham defensive midfielders are not noted for their free-flowing football and, facing a Czech Republic side they are widely fancied to beat in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier, it does appear an overly cautious approach to start with these two at home for England.
Certainly West Ham midfielder Declan Rice might have believed his impressive recent displays at the base of the Hammers midfield, in which he has shown himself to be a more forward-thinking player than Henderson or Dier often are, would have earned him a starting role for Southgate.
Rice could make his debut off the bench, where he is joined by Callum Hudson-Odoi, another who is yet to make his first international appearance.
There is little to complain about elsewhere on the pitch, particularly in a thrilling front three of Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho and Harry Kane. That trio have 52 goals and 39 assists in 111 club games this season and, with Dele Alli supplementing the attack from midfield, ought to provide plenty of cause for excitement at Wembley.
Perhaps the only other talking point in the side is the presence of Michael Keane in the heart of defence, though injuries to John Stones and Joe Gomez have forced Southgate’s hand, leaving him with a choice between the Everton centre-back or Burnley’s James Tarkowski.
Here’s how fans are reacting to Southgate’s lineup…