Phil Jones (Manchester United, 26, 24, 0)
Hailed by Southgate last year as England’s best defender but familiar fitness problems have restricted his appearances for club and country this term. Brave in the tackle but there will be concerns over his ability to last the course in a tournament setting.
John Stones (Manchester City, 23, 24, 0)
Absolutely central to England’s chosen tactical set-up, his job will be to link defence with midfield and distribute the ball wisely at the back. That opens him up to errors in possession and just five Premier League starts since the turn of the year took the sheen off his title-winning season.
Gary Cahill (Chelsea, 32, 58, 4)
England’s most experienced outfield player, occasional captain and a serial trophy winner at Chelsea. He has nevertheless been made to sweat over his place after being cut from the last squad.
Kyle Walker (Manchester City, 27, 34, 0)
Arguably the most reliable, trusted figure in Southgate’s tenure to date. The £50million man is just as important to Pep Guardiola and, having established his credentials as a world-class right-back, has emerged as a candidate to stiffen the back three.
Kieran Trippier (Tottenham, 27, 5, 0)
Having stepped up to replace Walker at Spurs, the former Burnley full-back has underlined his deputy credentials in the Three Lions set-up despite an untimely injury scare. Offers wicked crosses from the right and stands to gain most if Walker is used centrally.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool, 19, 0, 0)
The teenager’s senior international experience amounts to no more than a training session at St George’s Park to make up the numbers but having excelled in Liverpool’s charge to the Champions League final, he should not be daunted. A bold, attacking option at wing-back.
Ashley Young (Manchester United, 32, 33, 7)(Image: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Reappeared at Wembley for the November friendly against Brazil, over four years after last wearing the shirt. Has followed Antonio Valencia’s route from raiding winger to successfully-converted full-back with the Red Devils and is in peak physical condition.
Danny Rose (Tottenham, 27, 16, 0)
His high performance ceiling has to be balanced against his middling recent output on the pitch. Has plenty of suitors but fitness problems and the form of Ben Davies mean he has not been as integral as he once was at Spurs.
Harry Maguire (Leicester, 25, 4, 0)
Despite relatively junior status, the hulking Foxes defender has made a strong impression at recent St George’s Park get-togethers. Like Stones, he is confident stepping up from the back and brings his stature to bear at set-pieces in both penalty boxes.