Gareth Southgate has named his 26-man squad to travel to the World Cup in Qatar, and there were few surprises as the England coach balances form with previous big game experience.
James Maddison, who has been in scintillating form for Leicester City, has been included, as has Conor Gallagher – the young Chelsea midfielder who was available at odds of 5/1 this morning to be named in the squad.
There’s no place on the plane for Ivan Toney. The Brentford striker has scored more Premier League goals than any other English player bar Harry Kane this term, but his involvement in an FA investigation into alleged betting offences has perhaps cost him his shot.
Punters may feel somewhat let down by Southgate’s selections, with Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and James Ward-Prowse – who were all available at odds-on or a shade over even money to be named in the squad – have all been omitted.
— England (@England) November 10, 2022
|Nick Pope||Newcastle United||10|
There’s no great surprise in the goalkeeping department, with Southgate favourite Jordan Pickford included alongside in-form duo Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale.
A case could have perhaps been made for Dean Henderson, who is manfully trying his best to keep Nottingham Forest in the Premier League with a string of fine saves, but Southgate has opted for a more tried and tested trio to battle it out for the number one shirt.
|Kyle Walker||Manchester City||70|
|John Stones||Manchester City||59|
|Harry Maguire||Manchester United||48|
|Eric Dier||Tottenham Hotspur||47|
|Kieran Trippier||Newcastle United||37|
|Luke Shaw||Manchester United||23|
Injuries have caused havoc to Southgate’s defensive plans, but nonetheless he has decided to name Kyle Walker in his squad despite the Manchester City right back being sidelined with a groin injury since the start of October.
Injuries will keep Chelsea pair Reece James and Ben Chilwell out of the action, with Southgate naming just one recognised left back in his 26 in the form of Luke Shaw.
Much maligned duo Harry Maguire and Trent Alexander-Arnold are on the plane, while Ben White gets a call up off the back of his fine form for Arsenal.
|Declan Rice||West Ham United||34|
|Kalvin Phillips||Manchester City||23|
|Jude Bellingham||Borussia Dortmund||17|
There are no real surprises in midfield, although Kalvin Phillips will have work to do to prove his fitness.
The 26-year-old, who joined Manchester City from Leeds United in the summer, has missed nearly all of the 2022/23 campaign so far with injury.
But he returned for the Cityzens in a Carabao Cup tie in midweek, and Southgate – who labelled Phillips ‘a super player’ – confirmed he felt that the midfielder was ‘a risk worth taking’.
|Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||75|
|Marcus Rashford||Manchester United||46|
|Jack Grealish||Manchester City||24|
|Phil Foden||Manchester City||18|
|Callum Wilson||Newcastle United||4|
|James Maddison||Leicester City||1|
It’s the call-ups for Maddison and Marcus Rashford, at the expense of the likes of Toney, that will generate the most column inches.
The Leicester playmaker drew the ire of Southgate when he withdrew from the England squad to take on the Czech Republic back in 2019 citing illness – he was later photographed in a casino.
But that appears to be water under the bridge, with Southgate revealing:
“He’s playing really well. He’s earned the right. We think he can give us something slightly different from the other attacking players.”