Is Harry Maguire a substitute for Gareth Southgate? Can injured Kalvin Phillips win his race to get fit? Can Ivan Toney jump over Tammy Abraham and Marcus Rashford in pecking order?
The Sports sky England’s World Cup squad ladder is here!
From now until England boss Southgate names his team of 26 for Qatar 2022, with his announcement scheduled for October 20 ahead of the tournament’s start date of November 20. We will rank the players we think are the most likely.
Many things may change in the next month, so keep checking Sports sky to see which players on our 40-person ladder are on – and which players are on the slide.
Why Maguire could be a participant
There are some players who will definitely do it – think Harry Kane (first), Raheem Sterling (2nd), Declan Rice (Tuesday) and Jordan Pickford (Wednesday) – but that list still includes Harry Maguire?
The 29-year-old is having a bad time at Manchester United, his poor performances cost him his place in the team. But if Southgate still picks him up even under these circumstances, as he did in the upcoming Nations League matches against Italy and Germany, then why doesn’t he do so again in a while? month?
Southgate’s belief in Maguire seems to be at odds with some. After all, here’s a former manager who spoke about the importance of club form in his selection decisions.
But Maguire remains his most senior centre-back – he and John Stones (10th) remains Southgate’s favorite pairing – and it looks like he wants to judge him on his international record. “He has never let the national team down,” Southgate said earlier this month.
That’s why Maguire is 11th on our ladder – perhaps not as tall as he used to be, but still tall enough to make his place in next month’s squad almost certain.
England’s World Cup Group B fixtures
- Iran – Monday, November 21, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan; start at 1pm
- USA – Friday, November 25, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; starting at 7pm
- Wales – Tuesday, November 29, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan; starting at 7pm
Phillips in the gymnastics race
Like Maguire, Kalvin Phillips have had limited game time at club level this season, playing a lone minute in the Premier League since the summer move from Leeds to Manchester City.
His call-up to Southgate’s latest squad has upset some for that reason, but his inclusion reflects how important he is to the English boss. The bigger issue now is whether he’s fit for the league.
Phillips had to withdraw from the team due to a shoulder injury that he was expected to have surgery on. Pep Guardiola said on Saturday that he hopes he will recover in time for the World Cup, which takes place in nine weeks, but that looks like a very tight change.
Currently, he sits 18th on our ladder, but his injury puts him at serious risk of slipping. Jordan Henderson (17) will hope to strengthen his credentials in Phillips’ absence and the same goes for Jude Bellingham (Friday) and James Ward-Prowse (22th).
Others, such as Conor Gallagher (33th), cut their jobs to climb the ladder.
Dier’s form brings him up
Eric Dier The World Cup outlook looked bleak at the start of this season. The Tottenham defender has not played for the national team since November 2020. A call-up seems like a long time.
His first subsequent comeback was a reminder of how quickly things can change. Dier has been brilliant for Spurs recently, his commanding display a key factor in their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
His form has brought him back into Southgate’s squad for England’s upcoming Nations League games and his experience – he has 45 caps behind him – may only take him go up Conor Coady (Wednesday 24), Fikayo Tomori (26th), Marc Guehi (27th), White Ben (Day 31), Tyrone Mings (38th) and Joe Gomez (40th) in order of defensive surgery.
28 years old is 21st in our ladder.
Toney must seize her chance
By Ivan Toney Included is headline news from Southgate’s latest squad, with the Brentford forward earning his first call-up after five goals in six Premier League games.
His form seems to have pushed him upwards Ollie Watkins (39th) in Southgate’s mind – not to mention the injured duo Callum Wilson and Dominic Calvert-Lewinwho isn’t currently on our 40-person scale – but can he usurp the throne? Tammy Abraham (Day 25) too?
Abraham has established himself as Southgate’s preferred backup over Kane, which is why he sits five places above Toney (30th) on our ladder, but the Brentford man will be hoping. he has a chance to impress against Italy and Germany.
If he does, his upward trajectory may continue.
Rashford’s momentum stalled
Another player vying for a spot among Southgate’s attacking options is Marcus Rashfordwho sits 29th in the ladder has found his best form after a dismal period with Manchester United.
The 24-year-old has been outstanding under new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, scoring three goals and assisting in two of his six Premier League appearances this season.
Indeed, he could be preparing to face Italy and Germany in the next few days if not for what he describes as an “untimely” muscle injury that now threatens to halt his momentum. .
As a result, Rashford has not featured in Southgate’s latest squad but he can be encouraged by what the English boss has said about him. “He’s a player we know well, so if he can perform at a high level over the next few weeks, he will of course be considered.”
Southgate makes no such guarantee with respect to Jadon Sancho (32), who has also impressed for Manchester United this season but has not featured for England since a 5-0 win over Andorra a year ago.
Rashford looks more likely to bet on Southgate’s World Cup 26 than Sancho, as long as he can avoid injury, and his form can also bet West Ham Jarrod Bowen (23rd) at risk.
Bowen has won four England caps after shining for David Moyes’ side last season but his level has dropped in the current campaign and while he has kept his place in the team. Southgate’s latest form, he may need to step up his game in the coming weeks if he is to stay there.