Chelsea legend backs England manager Gareth Southgate’s big call on Newcastle United star

The Magpies star was given the nod ahead of Monday’s opener against Iran.

Former Chelsea and England defender John Terry has backed Gareth Southgate’s decision to start Newcastle United star Kieran Trippier in England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

The Magpies star has been in stunning form so far this season and has played a lead role in helping the Magpies end the first part of a unique season sat in the top four of the Premier League. The impact made by Trippier since he made a £12m switch to Tyneside in January has caught the eye and he remains a trusted figure for Three Lions boss Southgate.

However, with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Arsenal star Ben White both able to play at right-back, there had been a suggest Trippier could miss out. Monday lunchtime brought confirmation the Magpies star had been handed a start as he lines up alongside Harry Maguire, John Stones and Luke Shaw in a four-man England defence - and that brought approval from former England centre-back Terry.

Speaking to beIN Sports, he said: “At right-back? I would play Trippier. I wouldn’t go three at the back. I personally don’t like three at the back. I can see why he goes with three. The thing that disappoints me is the two in front of that. I think Declan Rice is so good. I think he can play that position on his own.”

Trippier’s Magpies team-mates Callum Wilson and Nick Pope were both named among the substitutes for the game.