Gareth Southgate set to name England squad for four Nations League matches
Gareth Southgate names his penultimate squad ahead of the Winter World Cup on Tuesday as England prepare to play four Nations League matches over an 11-day period.
A breathless Premier League season has only just come to an end and the Champions League final follows on Saturday, but international football is now poised to ramp up.
There are just two sides left before the start of England’s World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21, with preparations continuing with four Nations League matches in June.
Southgate lead his side to Hungary and Germany next week, before hosting Euro 2020 final opponents Italy and Hungary at Molineux as the national team hit the road.
The Three Lions boss will name his selection for the Group A3 matches on Tuesday afternoon at Wembley – the first squad to be revealed in person since November 2019.
Southgate could well become an expanded squad given the hectic schedule at the end of a grueling season, and preparation time for Qatar is running out.
Uncapped Jarrod Bowen is set to be included at the end of a superb season at West Ham, having been left out of March friendlies with a heel problem.
Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze has reportedly caught Southgate’s attention. The 23-year-old was due to be named in England’s provisional European Championship squad after suffering an abnormal Achilles tendon injury.
James Maddison, meanwhile, has pleaded for an end to his time in the international wilderness.
The 25-year-old midfielder hasn’t been called up to the squad since his debut in November 2019 and ended the campaign in superb form at Leicester, scoring 18 goals in all competitions.
“There’s nothing more he can do,” Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers said of Maddison’s England hopes after scoring in Sunday’s 4-1 game against Southampton.
“He was absolutely brilliant. He has been hungry since this difficult start for him. He has power and quality, he scores today and creates one.
“He’s not tense, he’s free. He is in good shape and plays the games. He races and does the work. We have other players who need to do more and have a bigger impact on the game, but he himself was absolutely brilliant.
“He is strong defensively, has been aggressive and his footballing talent is there for everyone to see.
“Look at his numbers, he’s been top class and has been – by far – our best player.”
Fikayo Tomori made his Three Lions debut the same month as Maddison and added just one more cap, but the Serie A winner has made an excellent record to be involved in his performances for AC Milan .
Kyle Walker is set to return after Southgate decided to switch to younger right-backs in March – a pair of Manchester United friendlies Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were overlooked.
Whether the pair have done enough with United to merit a recall is debatable, while there will certainly be questions about their continued faith in Harry Maguire.
The defender was booed by England fans at Wembley last time out in the friendly against Ivory Coast.
United left-back Luke Shaw has just returned from surgery on his leg which he broke in 2015, so England duty may come too soon. Fellow left-back Ben Chilwell remains sidelined.
Marc Guehi – who is struggling with an ankle injury – Tyrick Mitchell and Kyle Walker-Peters made their debuts in March, when Aaron Ramsdale, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Tammy Abraham and John Stones retired.
Bukayo Saka has left camp after testing positive for Covid-19 and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed he will speak to Southgate about the striker’s rest this month.
Kalvin Phillips, who has just helped Leeds survive the downside, is set to return to the domestic setup. Named England Player of the Year 2021, a hamstring problem ruled him out of March games.