England predicted lineup vs Australia - International friendly

  • England host Australia in a friendly at Wembley on Friday night
  • This is just the third time the historic sporting rivals have faced off this century
  • Gareth Southgate likely to hand starts to fringe members of squad

England take on Australia in a friendly on Friday night
England take on Australia in a friendly on Friday night / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

There will be a 'Soccer Ashes' taking place in October, although it won't be competed between England and Australia. Instead, Australia have been duelling New Zealand for Oceanic bragging rights since 1923.

Australia's footballing rivalry with England pales in comparison to their history in the cricketing realm, and Friday's meeting will be just their third in the 21st century.

Both sides have tasted victory in their two duels since the turn of the millennium and the Three Lions will be heavily favoured at Wembley. However, Gareth Southgate will be expected to hand starts to fringe members of his playing squad with his usual starters likely earning rests ahead of next Tuesday's Euro 2024 qualifier.

Here's how England could line up against Australia in Friday's friendly.

England predicted lineup vs Australia (4-3-3)

Gareth Southgate
Gareth Southgate should make full use of his squad this month / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

GK: Sam Johnstone - Opportunities for goalkeepers behind Jordan Pickford have come few and far between in recent years, but Southgate should rotate between the sticks with Johnstone pipping Aaron Ramsdale to a starting berth.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold - The right-back-cum-central midfielder has only just returned from a brief injury layoff, but he has been included in Southgate's squad. Given he's unlikely to start against Italy, Alexander-Arnold will surely get a run out on Friday.

CB: Lewis Dunk - You could argue Dunk is currently England's best-performing centre-half. The Brighton defender started against Scotland last month and he should continue in the side.

CB: Marc Guehi - Like Dunk, Guehi has impressed at the start of the season and will be vying for a starting berth against Italy as well.

LB: Levi Colwill - With Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell both absent, the boss is going to have to get creative at left-back. Colwill has shown already this season he's comfortable performing this role and his presence will give Alexander-Arnold greater freedom to wreak havoc higher up the pitch.

DM: Kalvin Phillips - Phillips is one of Southgate's tried and trusted lieutenants. While he's barely featured for Man City since departing Leeds, the midfielder could make two starts for his country in October.

CM: Jordan Henderson - This is who the paying customers have come to see. Supporters will be begging for Al Ettifaq star Henderson's inclusion on Friday night.

CM: James Maddison - Okay, this is a performer those in attendance at Wembley will actually be keen to see. Maddison was quiet against Ukraine last month but he's continued his brilliant start to the campaign with Tottenham since.

RW: Jarrod Bowen - It's criminal Bowen has earned just four England caps given just how consistent he's been for West Ham over the past couple of years. Nevertheless, he's in contention for his fifth cap on Friday.

ST: Ollie Watkins - While Harry Kane will undoubtedly fancy a start, Southgate would be wise to rest the striker for Tuesday and allow Watkins and Eddie Nketiah to share the load.

LW: Jack Grealish - The arrival of Jeremy Doku has complicated Grealish's situation at City somewhat with his reduced minutes potentially hindering his chances of breaking into Southgate's preferred XI. He should get a chance to impress against the Aussies, though.