Who is on the plane? Our writers pick their 26-man England World Cup squad for Qatar 2022

Who is on the plane? Our editors pick their 26-man England World Cup squad for Qatar 2022 – Custom Image

The Qatar World Cup kicks off on November 20, with England playing their first match a day later, and time is running out for Gareth Southgate to finalize his 26-man squad.

Southgate will have had less than half a Premier League season to assess his available players before making a final call, but, after six years in charge, he should already have a good idea of ​​who is on that plane. Doha.

World Cup squads will be increased from 23 players to 26 under new measures introduced by FIFA, giving Southgate something else to think about as the Three Lions aim to end 56 years of pain.

England reached their first tournament semi-final since 1996 at the 2018 World Cup, before reaching their first final since 1966 last summer when they lost to Italy on penalties at the European Championship.

With a group that includes Wales, Iran and the United States awaiting them, many are tipping England to improve.

With that in mind, we’ve asked our team of football writers to choose who they’d like to see represent England in Qatar…

Jason Burt

With a team of 26 men, instead of 23, there is little room for experimentation. My wild card is the talented and skilled Eberechi Eze from Crystal Palace, who hasn’t been called up before, but is playing well and can cover various striker roles. Marcus Rashford would also do it at the expense of Tammy Abraham, who has been unconvincing for England. Jarrod Bowen did well in the summer, but I think Eze and Rashford, who is finally back on form, offer more.

Trent Alexander-Arnold doesn’t make it, which will upset many Liverpool fans, but he simply hasn’t done enough for England, unlike his rivals Reece James, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker. On the other flank, he would pick only a specialist left-back in Ben Chilwell, in part because Trippier can play on that side as well as other players if Southgate opts for a more attacking full-back. Luke Shaw doesn’t play and is out of shape.

Unfortunately, Kalvin Phillips cannot be considered because he is injured. While Jordan Pickford is also out, it is understood that he will be in form next week. Ben White may be considered unlucky and I did consider another wild card, Brighton striker Danny Welbeck, but Ivan Toney is younger and deserves his chance.

james duck

Several players have been included whose form and fitness over the next month will determine whether they make the flight to Qatar, so Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips, for example, is a big question mark. Luke Shaw, likewise, will be lucky to make the squad if he remains out of the picture at Manchester United and is included here simply by virtue of the absence of alternative left-backs. I think Gareth Southgate will go with Harry Maguire regardless.

With borderline call-ups ahead, he would pick whoever is in better shape closer to the tournament, so the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Ivan Toney could easily be traded for the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Harvey Elliott and Tammy Abraham. , among others. I would like to see England in a 4-3-3 setup, but there is defensive flexibility in the team to use a back three if necessary.

Chris Bascombe

Barring more injuries or Gareth Southgate falling for another right-back, it’s hard to imagine any new faces coming into the squad at this late stage. The England manager must know his preferred starting XI for the opening World Cup game, but a 26-man squad should allow wildcards.

Assuming Kyle Walker will be a right-back centre-back should Southgate go with three defenders, and Kieran Trippier is an option at both left and right-back, there is an argument to be made that James Tarkowski is currently playing as well as anyone. English center back in the Premier League. He is off to an excellent start at Everton, although Southgate is likely to be loyal to Harry Maguire no matter how little he plays at Manchester United, and it would be brutal to omit Conor Coady so close to Qatar.

In midfield, James Ward-Prowse has recently been selected for his set-piece experience, but where and when will he be used in the World Cup? Promoting Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey, Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott or Everton’s Anthony Gordon from the under-21s would be as much a nod to the future as here and now. Of the three, Ramsey fits the profile needed given the recent injury histories of Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips. A midfield trio of Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Ramsey would bring athleticism, technical skill and excitement.

Up front, unless Ivan Toney impresses during the next few friendlies, he will miss the final cut.

jim white

Most of the team, from Jordan Pickford to Harry Kane, chooses himself. There are perhaps only three or four spaces that invite discussion. And Gareth Southgate is lucky to have a number of players like Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Bakayo Saka who can adapt to a variety of roles.

If the main maxim is to get fit, it seems impossible to find a place for Luke Shaw or Harry Maguire, whose declines have been accentuated by the lack of playing time at their club. It makes no more sense to choose them than to choose Dele Alli or Jesse Lingard, two other stalwarts from the last World Cup whose time has passed.

Unlike them, Eric Dier, however, has returned to where he was in 2018, flourishing under Antonio Conte’s tutelage at Tottenham. Ben White is developing in a similar way at Arsenal with Mikel Arteta. Both are far more plausible picks than any of the Manchester United men.

Southgate is also fortunate in the quality of his midfielders, and any combination looks good as long as it involves Jude Bellingham. Variety is required in attack, which is why, backing up the obvious picks like Kane, Saka, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling, Ivan Toney should go in case a little muscle is needed in the dying moments of a game. . And he would send Marcus Rashford, simply because he is electric in form. And his form is coming back.

sam dean

International team selection is a complicated business, so I’ve tried to simplify it as much as possible by choosing three goalkeepers and the two best players per position (in a 3-4-3 formation, as that seems to be the direction Gareth Southgate is heading).

That leaves three spots to be filled by “wild card” players. The first of these is pretty obvious: Mason Mount, which doesn’t fit naturally into a 3-4-3 system, but simply should be included for its versatility and all-around quality.

Southgate is clearly leaning towards including more defenders, but 10 defensive players seem like enough. Unfortunately, that means no room for Kieran Trippier (Trent Alexander-Arnold is included instead), Conor Coady, or Fikayo Tomori (Eric Dier, Ben White, and Marc Guehi get the nod).

England lack quality in midfield and Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott could still make a late run for the team. Elliott certainly possesses the kind of technical ability in central areas that England so often lack in major tournaments.

The final spot goes to an attacker, and you can choose from the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Ivan Toney, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho. I’m sticking with Toney, largely because he offers a totally different option off the bench.

Lucas Edwards

It’s a close decision between a revived but currently injured Marcus Rashford and Ivan Toney on the attack. The Brentford man has the advantage as he is in the squad, but he needs to impress during this international break or the door will be left ajar for Rashford.

Fikayo Tomori and Eric Dier displace Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings in central defence, although I suspect Harry Maguire and John Stones will remain the first choice given Gareth Southgate’s loyalty to those who have impressed in England in the past.

Kieran Trippier is just ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold as he can also play at left-back and the Liverpool man has had a slow start to the season. My wild card pick is for James Maddison to return to the fold. He has been in excellent form for Leicester and scores and creates goals. Sources have indicated that he too has matured as a man. I suspect Southgate will prefer someone like James Ward-Prowse.

mike mcgrath

Trent Alexander-Arnold would be a wild card pick, but his quality going forward would be a risk worth taking if England pursue games where they need a game changer. It means Gareth Southgate would have four right-backs, but Kieran Trippier can play on the left and Luke Shaw’s lack of playing time at the moment means there is adequate back-up.

James Ward-Prowse is worth bringing to Qatar for his set pieces and penalties, should they be needed later in the tournament.

Up front, Dominic Calvert-Lewin could make a late comeback if he returns from injury, but Marcus Rashford’s pace means only one backup striker is needed for Harry Kane and Tammy Abraham is a player Southgate has relied on, though. Ivan Toney deserves his call.

Conor Coady would be a huge loss in terms of his positive presence in camp, but Eric Dier has to be there in form over the past year. Fikayo Tomori would also be unlucky enough to be lost. Jadon Sancho deserves a place in the squad for his performances this season and his pace would be a threat off the bench.

Say your opinion…

Our writers have chosen their squads, now it’s your turn. Use the squad builder below to choose your England starting XI. For now, we ask you to choose from Southgate’s recent Nations League squad, plus any players or ‘wild cards’ our own writers have chosen:

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