England players are always immensely popular among Dream Team bosses and that hasn’t changed in the build-up to the World Cup in Qatar despite some disappointing results this calendar year.
No fewer than five of the eleven most-popular assets in Dream Team World Cup right now are members of Gareth Southgate’s squad.
With so much attention on the Three Lions’ campaign, gaffers need to make sure they’ve got the optimum combination of players.
Let’s run through England’s star players, potential flops and bargain options…
As captain, penalty-taker and biggest goal threat, it’s hard to look past Harry Kane when identifying the cream of the crop from Southgate’s side.
The Spurs forward already has a World Cup Golden Boot on his mantelpiece and he needs just two more international goals to draw level with Wayne Rooney, England’s current all-time top scorer – his goals-to-game ratio is significantly better than the Man United legend’s.
Kane scored 12 goals in 589 minutes during qualification for the World Cup and only Erling Haaland has a superior Premier League tally this season.
Injuries to Reece James and Kyle Walker (who has at least made the squad) have left the door open for Kieran Trippier to start at right-back against Iran on Monday.
Newcastle’s vice-captain has been an astoundingly consistent performer in Dream Team’s classic Season game this term and 37.1% of gaffers are backing him to translate his impressive form to the international stage this winter.
England defenders racked up points for fun in Dream Team Euros last year and more clean sheets could be on the cards in what looks to be a cagey group that also features USA, Iran and Wales.
Euro 2020 ended in heartbreak for Bukayo Saka as it was the Arsenal youngster’s saved penalty that handed victory to Italy.
However, the 21-year-old is nicely poised for a redemption arc having played a significant role in the Gunners’ flying start to the domestic season – he’s registered four goals and six assists in the top flight already.
He’s not a guaranteed starter for England but on current form he probably should be chosen to play from the right – he has a good understanding with Kane.
Saka has three goals and three assists in his last ten international appearances.
Southgate’s faith in his favourite players is admirable but the reality is other teams will see Harry Maguire as a potential weak link.
The 29-year-old was fantastic at the last World Cup and was rightfully named in Team of the Tournament following the Euros but more recently he lost his place in Man United’s starting line-up after a sustained spell of error-strewn performances.
Backing Maguire feels like an unnecessary risk for Dream Team bosses to take – there are safer options in the same price bracket.
In no world could Phil Foden be described as a flop.
In terms of pure talent, the Man City youngster is among England’s best assets but Dream Team World Cup managers would be wise to consider Southgate’s pecking order.
Raheem Sterling is a firm favourite of the Three Lion coach and will almost certainly start on the left despite a drop-off in domestic form of late.
Mason Mount is first-choice for the most-advanced midfield role in the 4-3-3 formation and the aforementioned Saka has a strong claim out on the right, where he’s outperformed Foden at international level.
22.7% of gaffers would be disappointed to see Foden named on the bench on Monday but it’s a real possibility.
The best you can hope for in this section is half-decent value-for-money options, tempting ones though…
Jude Bellingham has rapidly transformed from a fringe player to someone many fans want Southgate to build the team around – and with good reason.
Still just 19 years old, he plays with a maturity beyond his years and Kalvin Phillips’ injury setbacks mean the Borussia Dortmund starlet is most likely to start alongside Declan Rice – he’s considerably more active in the final third than either of those two more defensive-minded midfielders.
Bellingham costs £4m in Dream Team World Cup, which isn’t cheap but it’s not expensive either.
Finally, Luke Shaw is very reasonably priced at £4m, a knock-on effect of Ben Chilwell’s unfortunate injury.
The Man United defender is the only specialist left-back in the squad and therefore a certain starter – he was also very effective at Euro 2020.