Gareth Southgate set to launch in-form Arsenal star Bukayo Saka for England’s World Cup opener against Iran

Bukayo Saka is set to start for England against Iran on Monday, according to talkSPORT.

In what will be seen as a confident attacking selection by Gareth Southgate, Saka should be offered a wide attacking role on the right.


Saka’s strong start to the season should be rewarded with a starting spot against Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium

Southgate's decisions will be put under the microscope this tournament


Southgate’s decisions will be put under the microscope this tournament

Saka’s appearance as a substitute in the 3-3 draw with Germany in the Nations League may have convinced Southgate that he should start.

He has also been in confident and consistent form for Premier League leaders Arsenal, scoring four goals and providing six assists in the top flight so far this season.

Saka’s starting spot indicates England are playing four, with three attacking and creative players behind captain Harry Kane.

The Iran clash, which is live on talkSPORT, will most likely come too soon for James Maddison and Kyle Walker, who have knee and groin complaints respectively.

On Maddison’s fitness, Southgate told talkSPORT on Sunday: “He hasn’t been able to train so that’s a slight concern. The longer it goes on the longer it will take him to be available for games.

“But we don’t expect him to miss training any longer and we’ll just have to assess him from there.”

Maddison was injured in Leicester's 2-0 win at West Ham on November 12


Maddison was injured in Leicester’s 2-0 win at West Ham on November 12

However, the Three Lions boss had better news regarding Walker.

Southgate added: “He’s close, he’s been training with the group, so he’s slightly ahead of what we thought he might be.

“He’s an amazing athlete anyway, so he has natural advantages that one or two other players don’t.

“But also, the rehabilitation link between us and the Manchester City medical team has been excellent throughout.

“We are really happy with his progress, we didn’t expect him to train with the team before the first game and he is a few games ahead.”

Listen to the full England v Iran commentary live on talkSPORT, kick off at 1pm.


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