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Lithuania vs England: Gareth Southgate looks towards the future by fielding one of England's youngest ever teams

 

According to data collected by Opta which dates back to 2002, boss Gareth Southgate has fielded a side with the average age of 24 years and 91 days

ENGLAND’S starting XI for their World Cup dead rubber against Lithuania is their youngest in over 15 years.

With qualification already in the bag, boss Gareth Southgate has opted to hand debuts to Spurs ace Harry Winks and Leicester’s Harry Maguire.

 Harry Winks, left, makes his England debut against LithuaniaHarry Winks, left, makes his England debut against Lithuania

According to stats from Opta, the average age of England’s side to face the minnows is 24 years and 91 days.

That is in relation to data collected which dates back to October 2002 – but it is believed it could be the youngest side since the late 1950s.

Southgate is certainly looking towards the future with the hope of giving his young stars game time ahead of the World Cup in Russia next summer.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford is the youngest player in the starting XI at the age of 19.

 Marcus Rashford is the youngest player in the England side at the age of 19Marcus Rashford is the youngest player in the England side at the age of 19

Winks, 21, has made just four Premier League starts for Tottenham in his career but has convinced Southgate to pick the midfielder for his creativity going forward.

But any England fans who believe the future is bright with such a young starting XI only need to look at the Euro 2016 squad to suggest otherwise.

England qualified for the tournament with the youngest squad in Europe and headed for France with an average age of just under 26 years.

It was the youngest at a major tournament for 58 years but they crashed out in the Round of 16 following an embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Iceland.

 Harry Maguire is also making his international debut for the Three LionsHarry Maguire is also making his international debut for the Three Lions

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In another first for 114 years, England are starting with three Harry’s in their starting line-up.

Star striker Harry Kane captains the side for the second match in a row.

England also went with a back three for their first competitive match in 11 years.

Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/4639320/lithuania-vs-england-gareth-southgate-englands-youngest-ever-teams/

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