Crooks’ team of the week: Man Utd dominate

Kevin de Bruyne
Photo: Brad Tutterow, CC

Manchester United dominate the team with four players, following their FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham on Saturday.

Crooks believes Chris Smalling should be back in Gareth Southgate’s England team due to his current form.

Crooks told the BBC: “Gareth Southgate left Chris Smalling out of England’s friendly games against the Netherlands and Italy in March, but on current form, he has to be back in the manager’s thinking.

“The Manchester United central defender was superb against Spurs at Wembley in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final and didn’t give Harry Kane a kick. Smalling may not be particularly skilful but there isn’t a better competitor in the Premier League.

“England are not blessed with enough centre-backs to leave Smalling out. The World Cup in Russia will be nothing if not a test of bottle and Smalling has plenty of it.”

Crystal Palace, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and West Brom men make up the rest of the XI.

Check out the complete line-up here:

Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace) – Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) – Ander Herrera (Manchester United), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United) – Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Salomon Rondon (West Brom), Danny Ings (Liverpool)

BBC Team of the week