West Ham United: Declan Rice set to start for England v Italy, Jarrod Bowen on bench
Jarrod Bowen is set to start as a substitute for England when they face Italy on Friday night, but West Ham captain Declan Rice is expected to start according to Daily Mail.
England are in Milan to face the European champions in a UEFA Nations League clash, in the final set of international fixtures before Gareth Southgate selects his World Cup squad for Qatar.
The selection is set to give away some inclinations of Gareth Southgate’s thinking for the tournament, and it seems just one of the two West Ham representatives in the squad is set to start.
Captain Rice looks set to start alongside Jude Bellingham in central midfield as the manager is set to opt for a 3-4-3 formation, with Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Harry Kane in attack.
That means there is no space for Bowen in the starting lineup, as he looks to earn his fifth international cap.
Rice has long established himself as a starting central midfielder for the national team and is one of the very best in the country at the role, so it’s no surprise to see him starting despite missing training earlier this week.
His ability to break up play and his constant running in midfield mean the team is able to keep possession well and also sustain attacks, while putting Bellingham alongside him means that he will be assisted in progressing the play.
As for Bowen, he is the only left-footed right winger in the squad but the ability and form of Foden for Manchester City means he is behind him in the pecking order currently.
It’s a fair statement considering his slow start to the season so far for the Hammers, but he has the ability and quality to make a difference at this level given the opportunity.
West Ham will be hoping he doesn’t feature, as it will not only see him well rested for the upcoming busy month of fixtures but will also save them £1m for the time being too after a clause emerged following his transfer from Hull in 2020.