Brentford’s Evan Toni is expected to win his first England call-up when Gareth Southgate picks his latest England squad at 2pm.
The news comes after doubts about Marcus Rashford’s fitness, with the 24-year-old still feeling the effects of the injury he suffered in the 3-1 win over Arsenal in the Premier League on September 4, when he scored two goals to take his tally for the season to three.
After United missed the opening game of the Europa League, losing 1-0 at home to Real Sociedad, Rashford will again be absent for his second group game away to Sherif Tiraspol on Thursday.
As a result, Southgate has moved on to include Toni, who has scored 13 Premier League goals since January, in the squad.
The 26-year-old has scored 17 Premier League goals and six assists in 39 appearances for the Bees since the start of last season, and scored a 28-minute hat-trick in a thrilling 5-2 home game against Leeds Day. 3 sept.
England have never crowned him in any youth age group and he was reportedly courted by the Jamaica Football Association last year in an effort to persuade him to pledge his allegiance to them.
England will meet Italy away on Friday 23 September at 7.45 pm, before hosting Germany on Monday 26 September at 7.45 pm.
More to follow…
‘Tony’s penalty more than justified his inclusion’
Dan Long from Sky Sports:
“It has been 83 years since a player from Brentford won his first England title. We still have a few bee fans who were alive when Les Smith appeared as a substitute against Romania on May 24, 1939, less than four months before the outbreak of World War II. The second, and fewer, if any, will remember the occasion.
“But this nearly century-long wait is likely to come to an end.
“It is the more than justified inclusion of 26-year-old striker Tony, who was playing in the Premier League just four seasons ago. Prior to his move from Peterborough to West London, he made it clear that he was so confident in his ability that he could move up to the Premier League, and had Many laughed at this claim.
“In 2021/2022 – the Bees’ first season in the first division since 1946/47 – he led the streak admirably, scoring 17 goals in 33 league games, and he started this campaign with an extra spring in his stride, with five goals. From just six shots on Goal – including a superb hat-trick in the 5-2 win over Leeds – and two more passes.
“He’s not afraid of getting caught elsewhere on the pitch, which often goes unnoticed. He often has a key presence when Brentford defends set-pieces, and has won 20 aerial challenges so far and attempted six assists in his game.
“But the most interesting thing, from an England perspective, is Tony’s penalty kick record. He has been Brentford’s first choice penalty taker since joining the club and he has scored every one of his 18 shots he has taken. Back in March, said Thomas Frank, head coach. The Bees team, it’s “the best penalty shootout shooter in the world at the moment”.
“Tony, lazy, often called him a penalty dealer and nothing more. But as in the past, he finally laughed.”
World Cup Group B matches in England
November 21: Iran (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan) – kick-off at 1 pm
November 25: United States of America (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor) – kick-off 7pm
November 29: Wales (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan) – kick-off 7pm
Gareth Southgate has revealed his last England squad ahead of the World Cup – but who will make the starting lineup?
What would your England starting line-up look like if the World Cup started today and all the players were available? Use the interactive selector to choose your team below, screenshots you select and share on Twitter Tweet embed.