Do England have the best front three in world football? Vote on the contenders

Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling
Best in the world? Vote at the bottom of the page.

A World Cup Golden Boot winner with 130 Premier League goals, the PFA Young Player of the Year averaging a goal or assist every 103 minutes in the top flight and one of European football's brightest young talents.

Is there a better front three in world football at the moment than Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho?

"They're as exciting as anything," was manager Gareth Southgate's assessment of England's attacking options after beating Bulgaria last month.

Kane, Sterling and Sancho have scored or assisted 120 goals between them in the Premier League, Bundesliga and for England since the start of last season. Can anyone else in the world piece together a better three-man strikeforce?

Chart shows combined goals and assists in league games and internationals for three chosen players per country from the start of the 2018-19 season to Tuesday, 8 October 2019.

This is not an exact science, with team selections and formations making a direct comparison tricky. But we've picked a front three for each nation in the top 10 of the Fifa rankings and you can vote at the bottom for the best.

England (4th in world rankings) - Kane, Sterling, Sancho

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Harry Kane heads last-gasp England winner

Southgate took England to the World Cup semi-finals last summer playing a back three with Kane and Sterling up front. But he has since changed to a front three, with Borussia Dortmund's Sancho replacing Manchester United's Marcus Rashford for the 5-3 win against Kosovo, their most recent game. Those three now appear to be the manager's first-choice attack.

No other team in Europe can beat England's haul of 19 goals in Euro 2020 qualifying going into this week's internationals - they are level with Belgium and France.

League record sine start of 2018-19
PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsMins/goalShots on targetChances created
Harry Kane (Tottenham)36225142.825536
Raheem Sterling (Man City)412310147.915079
Jadon Sancho (Dortmund)411519199.932877

Sterling has outscored Kane for club and country over the past 14 months - with eight goals for England in his last nine appearances. His 12 goal involvements (goals and assists) are the most since the start of last season for any player we looked at across the top 10 countries in the world.

Sancho scored twice against Kosovo - his first international goals - and is by far the most creative player available to Southgate. His 19 league assists are nearly double the next best - Sterling - while his 132 completed dribbles put him 37 clear of the Manchester City man.

Kane (26), Sterling (24) and Sancho (19) all have age on their side as well. At an average age of 23 years and 198 days they are the youngest trio - by around two years - of any of the strikeforces we looked at.

Belgium (1st in world rankings) - Hazard, Mertens, Lukaku

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Lukaku chips in Belgium's third

Belgium are the number-one ranked side in the world so it's perhaps no surprise that their attacking options are rich and varied. Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has played on the right of their front three at times - but he's being discounted as he prefers to play deeper and does when everyone is fit.

Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku have started the most internationals since the start of last season so they get the nod for us.

League record since start of 2018-19
PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsMins/goalShots on targetChances created
Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Real Madrid)411716187.6547103
Dries Mertens (Napoli)412011138.854582
Romelu Lukaku (Man Utd/Inter)39150178.133729

Hazard has had his injury problems since leaving Chelsea last summer but he remains a world-class attacker - no other player we looked at has created more chances since the start of last season. Lukaku may have endured a poor final season at Manchester United - and he doesn't create much for those around him - but he knows where the goal is.

He averages a goal every 58 minutes for Belgium over the past 14 months. No other player on our long list has scored more international goals in that period than his nine.

France (2nd in world rankings) - Mbappe, Griezmann, Giroud

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The making of Mbappe

World Cup holders and ranked number two in the world - France may have the best strength in depth in world football at the moment. Somewhere in the offices of L'Equipe someone may have put Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder in their version of this piece ahead of Olivier Giroud et voila - France would be top of the shop when it comes to the stats.

But Giroud - despite barely playing for Chelsea in the Premier League - remains first choice for Les Bleus, starting 11 internationals since August 2018. In fact, of all the forwards we looked at only team-mate Antoine Griezmann and Brazil's Roberto Firmino have started more in that time.

Paris St-Germain's Kylian Mbappe shone at the World Cup and remains a phenomenal talent. Not even Lionel Messi can match his league record of a goal every 77 minutes.

League record since start of 2018-19
PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsMins/goalShots on targetChances created
Kylian Mbappe (PSG)33349778152
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/Barcelona)441811212.065481
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)3024466.51122

Brazil (3rd in world rankings) - Neymar, Firmino, Jesus

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World Cup 2018: The good, the bad, and the Neymar

Love him or loathe him, Neymar remains the main man for Brazil when fit. He missed a lot of games last season with a foot injury but still weighed in with nearly a goal per game for Paris St-Germain in the French league, and he won his 100th international cap against Senegal on Thursday. He has 61 goals for his country - only behind Ronaldo and Pele on the all-time list. Since the start of last season he has seven assists for Brazil - more than any other forward we analysed for these top 10 nations.

League record since start of 2018-19
PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsMins/goalShots on targetChances created
Neymar (PSG)2219799.473951
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)42159218.134343
Gabriel Jesus (Man City)3494136.442922

Who should play alongside Neymar? Liverpool's own Roberto Firmino has started 15 times for Brazil in the past 14 months, with Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City and Richarlison of Everton sharing the third spot most often. Jesus gets the nod for us as he has scored eight goals in that time compared to Richarlison's six. Hard lines.

Portugal (5th in world rankings) - Ronaldo, A Silva, B Silva

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Ronaldo scores 'sensational' free-kick to complete hat-trick

He may be 34 but Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 93 goals for Portugal and shows no sign of slowing down.

Portugal have tended to play the two Silvas either side of Ronaldo - Manchester City's Bernardo and AC Milan's Andre - over the past 12 months. Andre Silva may have been packed off on loan to clubs in Spain and Germany but remains a key man for his country. He's actually played more games for Portugal than Ronaldo since the start of last season.

League record since start of 2018-19
PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsMins/goalShots on targetChances created
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)37249134.548257
Andre Silva (Sevilla/Milan/Frankfurt)32120215.333437
Bernardo Silva (Man City)43118293.362877

Bernardo Silva is more of a midfielder but often plays wide right of a front three and has five assists in his past 10 caps.

Atletico Madrid paid £113m for teenager Joao Felix this summer and he started Portugal's last match - but he has yet to score for his country in three appearances.

Uruguay (6th in world rankings) - Suarez, Cavani, Stuani

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Cavani 'special' seals Uruguay victory

We are shoehorning a bit here - Uruguay played a pretty rigid 4-4-2 in the Copa America this summer with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani a regimented pairing. Those two and former Middlesbrough man Cristhian Stuani are the go-to men but are all 32 years old - suggesting a bit of a rebuild is in order.

Old but gold - the trio remain lethal at league level. Cavani is Paris St-Germain's all-time leading goalscorer and his shots on target to goals record is frankly ridiculous in Ligue 1. They go in the stands or in the net.

League record since start of 2018-19
PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsMins/goalShots on targetChances created
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)39256129.686751
Edinson Cavani (PSG)2420593.452615
Cristhian Stuani (Girona)32190143.743914

Suarez remains a focal point for Barcelona and is the creative one of this trio. On top of the chances he lays on at the Nou Camp, the former Liverpool man has created more chances for Uruguay (13) than the other two combined.

Spain (7th in world rankings) - Rodrigo, Morata, Aspas

Spain's attack is in a state of transition. Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos started in a front three last month against Romania while Suso, Mikel Oyarzabal and Isco have all played in attack in recent matches.

We've gone with goalscorers who have started at least five internationals in the last year - Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata, Rodrigo of Valencia and Iago Aspas of Celta Vigo. Aspas and Rodrigo started both games against England in last year's Nations League.

League record since start of 2018-19
PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsMins/goalShots on targetChances created
Rodrigo (Valencia)41893893542
Alvaro Morata (Chelsea/Atletico Madrid)36121192.753416
Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo)35216141.673864

Croatia (8th in world rankings) - Perisic, Rebic, Petkovic*

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World Cup 2018: Croatia 2-1 England (aet) highlights

Problems here - Croatia only really play one up front and former Leicester man Andrej Kramaric is out with an injury at the moment. Bruno Petkovic is the next cab off the rank - he's scored twice in five appearances for the World Cup finalists recently. However, as he plays in his homeland for Dinamo Zagreb - not in one of Europe's 'big' leagues - we don't have detailed data for his league achievements, though he has scored 20 goals in 43 games for club and country.

League record since start of 2018-19
PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsMins/goalShots on targetChances created
Ivan Perisic (Inter/Bayern)38104292.63263
Ante Rebic (Frankfurt/Milan)3294237.442938

Colombia (9th in world rankings) - James, Falcao, Zapata

Another team facing a transitional period up front, with 33-year-old Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez not in the current squad but starters at summer's Copa America. Falcao is injured at the moment as well.

Duvan Zapata was outstanding for Atalanta last season and deserves his place in our trio.

League record since start of 2018-19
PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsMins/goalShots on targetChances created
James Rodriguez(Bayern/Real)2684174.132060
Radamel Falcao(Monaco/Galatasaray)33152170.84218
Duvan Zapata (Atalanta)44299117.726176

Argentina (10th in world rankings) - Messi, Aguero, Martinez

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'The boy is back in town' - stunning Messi goal gives Argentina lead

And then there is Messi.

The great one continues to be an enigma on the international stage, playing in the Copa America this year alongside Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala but suspended since he was sent off against Chile. He's already retired from the international scene once.

Look at his numbers for Barcelona though - 37 goals, 91 shots on target, 97 chances created. Despite often dropping deep to get on the ball he had more shots on target in the league than any other player we looked at, and only Hazard created more chances. Mbappe (34) was the only other man to score more than 30 league goals in the same period.

Dybala misses out on our selection because a) he's only scored six league goals for Juventus in 35 appearances, and b) Lautaro Martinez has scored nine goals in 10 starts for his country.

League record since start of 2018-19
PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsMins/goalShots on targetChances created
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)37371478.119197
Sergio Aguero (Man City)412910104.835244
Lautaro Martinez (Inter)3483217.53027

So which front three are the best?

You've seen the data, and no doubt disagree with some of our selections.

Time to vote.

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