Ex-Red backs Liverpool star to ‘play a more prominent role’ for his nation in the knockout stages of the World Cup

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Stan Collymore has tipped Jordan Henderson to ‘play a more prominent role’ for England as the World Cup enters the knockout stages.

The Three Lions, who host Wales at 7pm tonight, will progress through to the last-16 in Qatar if they avoid a 3-0 defeat by Rob Page’s side in their final group game.

The Reds skipper has been named in the starting XI and is one of four changes from the side that played out a goalless draw with the USA on Friday.

“I think Gareth Southgate really wanted to give Kyle Walker minutes tonight because I think if we do go deeper into the tournament, he may well go to three at the back and put Walker alongside Maguire and Stones and then have Shaw and Trippier as the wing-backs,” Collymore told CaughtOffside.

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“As for Jordan Henderson. I do wonder if he’s played his way into his manager’s plans.

“Obviously, Rice and Bellingham are the future, but Southgate is a pragmatist, so as long as Henderson can do the mileage, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him play a more prominent role as the tournament goes on.”

The former Sunderland man makes his first start of the tournament, as does Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford and Kyle Walker.

Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham have been Gareth Southgate’s preferred midfield duo so far this tournament, but with the latter deployed in a more advanced role against Wales tonight, the Liverpool skipper will be looking to impress in the middle of the park and do his talking on the pitch.

The 32-year-old is one of the most experienced players in the squad and out of the 26 players that the England boss selected for the tournament, only Harry Kane has earned more caps for his nation.

If the 1966 World Cup winners top their respective group, they will face a Sadio Mane-less Senegal in the next round.

Let’s hope for a big performance from Hendo with Trent Alexander-Arnold named on the bench.

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