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Harry Maguire expected to start England’s World Cup opener

This is a bigger deal than you might realise

Netherlands v England - International Friendly Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

This summer, ten Leicester players will feature at the World Cup. For many other teams that might seem insignificant, but it’s important to remember that only six players have ever played in the tournament while at the club.

Even Gary Lineker, until recently England’s all time top scorer and forever inextricably linked with Leicester, was only capped seven times as a Fox. In fact, the last current Leicester City player to feature for England in a World Cup was Gordon Banks in the 1966 final.

According to Sky Sports, the next will be Harry Maguire, this Monday, as the Three Lions open their 2018 World Cup campaign against Tunisia.

If it’s a big deal for us, we can only imagine how great it must feel for Harry, who’s thoroughly deserved his place after a fantastic first season with the club. In an interview with the Independent teammate (and fellow World Cup attendee) Wilfred Ndidi said that Maguire “never stops talking about playing for England” and the giant centre back certainly seems to be enjoying the build up to the tournament.

I was a fan, I still am a fan and if I wasn’t selected to be in the England squad this time I’d be there. I’d be a fan, I’d be watching it on TV, gearing up for games, still getting nervous. I’m passionate about England

He may find himself up against a familiar opponent in the opening fixture, with Yohan Benalouane in the Tunisia squad, although it seems Jamie Vardy, now Leicester’s most capped outfield englishman, will have to be content with a place on the bench.

The Foxes first involvement in the tournament could come as soon as today, with both Adrien Silva and new signing Ricardo Pereira in the Portugal squad, though neither is expected to start vs Spain.

Elsewhere in the tournament, Kasper Schmeichel’s Denmark will kick off on Saturday against Peru, with the Leicester man almost certain to start, while Nigeria face Croatia later that day with Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa all present in the amazingly outfitted Super Eagles squad.

The first round of fixtures will conclude with Shinji Okazaki’s Japan in action against Colombia, in a game that could have big implications for England’s 2nd round opponent.

However the results go, it’s shaping up to be a really fun tournament for Foxes fans, but especially if England and Nigeria make the deeper run into the tournament they’re both capable of (they have Harry and Wilf, so yes they are capable).