Eight Manchester-based stars were included in Gareth Southgate’s squad last week, with three from United and five from City. And the announcement of the team jerseys should give several of those reasons for optimism.
Which shirt a player is handed is not a guaranteed indication of how much game-time they’ll be given, yet, typically those with lower numbers will play a bigger role in the squad. Therefore, John Stones and Harry Maguire being handed No.5 and No.6 is perhaps a hint that Southgate sees them as his first-choice centre-back partnership.
Likewise, Kyle Walker (2), Luke Shaw (3), Jack Grealish (7) and Marcus Rashford (11) will hope to play a key role for England, and inherit the same numbers from the Euro 2020 campaign. Kalvin Phillips wore No.14 last summer and will have the same shirt again in Qatar, while Phil Foden will also wear No.20 for the second tournament in a row.
Elsewhere, Jordan Pickford, Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling are all set to wear numbers between 1-11. The Three Lions play Iran in their first game of the tournament on Monday 21 November, before they face USA (24 November) and Wales (29 November) in the group stages.
Full list of shirt numbers:
1. Jordan Pickford, 2. Kyle Walker, 3. Luke Shaw, 4. Declan Rice, 5. John Stones, 6. Harry Maguire, 7. Jack Grealish, 8. Jordan Henderson, 9. Harry Kane, 10. Raheem Sterling, 11. Marcus Rashford, 12. Kieran Trippier, 13. Nick Pope, 14. Kalvin Phillips, 15. Eric Dier, 16. Conor Coady, 17. Bukayo Saka, 18. Trent Alexander-Arnold, 19. Mason Mount, 20. Phil Foden, 21. Ben White, 22. Jude Bellingham, 23. Aaron Ramsdale, 24. Callum Wilson, 25. James Maddison, 26. Conor Gallagher