What Newcastle United's Callum Wilson can offer England amid 'leaked' team news

Callum Wilson’s expected to start the World Cup on the bench, but he’s more than capable of taking his club form on to the pitch.

That’s the view of Wilson’s Newcastle United and England team-mate Nick Pope ahead of this afternoon’s Group B opener against Iran.

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Pope is also set to be on the bench according to a “leaked” starting XI, and the goalkeeper, speaking to talkSPORT, outlined why the 30-year-old striker – who returned to England’s squad ahead of the tournament after a three-year absence – is such a threat for club and country.

Asked about Wilson’s strengths, Pope said: “Someone that leads the line really well, whether he plays in a one up front or a two.

“Really intelligent player, strong, quick. Really good in the box as a striker, whether that’s one-touch finishes, or beating a man and finishing. They’re all strengths of his, and strengths we’ve seen this season.”

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United head coach Eddie Howe has been with Wilson for many of his highs and lows, having signed him for Bournemouth in 2014.

“I’m really pleased for Callum,” said Howe. “My history with Callum, my length of time with him, I’ve seen some of the disappointing moments he’s had, I’ve also seen the highs and seen him grow into a Premier League player from a lower League player.

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England's Marcus Rashford and Callum Wilson during a training session in Qatar last week.

“I’ve seen him score hat-tricks in the Premier League, and shared those moments with him. I know how desperate he was to go to the World Cup, so it was nice to share that moment with him.”

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Wilson has scored six Premier League goals so far this season.