Southgate: I've picked the best

17 May 2018 07:36:24 EST

England head coach Gareth Southgate is confident that his youthful squad contains the right men for the job of impressing at the World Cup finals in Russia.

Southgate opted to overlook a number of more experienced players in favour of the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Marcus Rashford and he is content that he has taken the right path towards trying to being success in the summer.

We're picking them not because they are young, but because they are the best in their positions.

Gareth Southgate

He told reporters: "Maybe it's brave to take players without a number of caps, but I think we've got to give these guys belief.

"What we've tried to do over the last few months is look at younger players, be brave enough to play them.

"We're picking them not because they are young, but because they are the best in their positions. We know that they're not the finished article, but that's where we are at the moment."

England are available at 5/1 to be eliminated at the group stage, with the Three Lions 11/5 to lose in the last-16 and 11/5 to be beaten in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Southgate also admitted that only fitness problems had denied Liverpool schemer Adam Lallana of a place in the 23-man squad, although he has been included among the players on standby.

"I've had continual dialogue with Adam through the season," Southgate added. "It's been a really frustrating season for him.

"Under normal circumstances, given the amount of football he has played, he wouldn't be anywhere near the squad.

"The reality of the conversations I've had with him are that to find the level of performance on the back of the limited minutes he has had - he's only started two games this season - is going to be really difficult."

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