Is Harry Maguire a favorite of Gareth Southgate? Can injured Calvin Phillips win his race to be fit? Can Evan Toni jump over Tammy Abraham and Marcus Rashford in the rankings?
The Sky Sports Submit your England squad here!
Between now and England manager Southgate appointing his 26-man squad for Qatar 2022, which is expected to be announced on October 20, before the tournament kicks off on November 20, we will rank the players we consider most likely to make the cut.
A lot can change over the next month, so keep checking Sky Sports To see which players in our 40-player ladder are going up – and which players are on the slide.
Why Maguire could be a great tool
There are some foolproof players all – think about it Harry King (the first) , Raheem Sterling (2nd), Declan rice (iii) and Jordan Pickford (iv) – but does this list still include Harry Maguire?
The 29-year-old is having a tough time at Manchester United, and his poor performances are costing him his place in the team. But if Southgate still picks him up even in those circumstances, as he did in the upcoming Nations League matches against Italy and Germany, why not do it again in a month?
Southgate’s belief in Maguire appears contradictory to some. After all, this is the manager who previously spoke about the importance of the club’s shape in his selection decisions.
But Maguire is still his biggest center back – he and John Stones The (tenth) spot remains Southgate’s favorite duo – and seems to prefer to be judged based on his international record. “He has never failed the national team,” Southgate said earlier this month.
That’s why Maguire is 11th in our ladder – perhaps not as high as before, but still high enough to make his place in next month’s squad almost certain.
World Cup Group B matches in England
- Iran Monday, November 21, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan. The game kicks off at one in the afternoon
- United States of America Friday, November 25, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor. Kick-off at 7 p.m
- Wales Tuesday, November 29, Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan. Kick-off at 7 p.m
Philips in a fitness race
like Maguire, Calvin Phillips Playing time has been limited at club level this season, having played one minute in the Premier League since his summer move from Leeds to Manchester City.
His recent call-up to Southgate’s squad angered some for this reason, but his inclusion was a reflection of his importance to the England boss. The bigger issue now is whether he will be fit for the championship.
Phillips has been forced to withdraw from the team due to a shoulder injury and is expected to undergo surgery. Pep Guardiola said, on Saturday, that he expects to recover in time for the World Cup, which is nine weeks away, but that this transformation appears to be difficult.
Right now he’s sitting at number 18 on our ladder, but his injury puts him at risk of slipping. Jordan Henderson (17) will hope to boost his credentials in the absence of Phillips and the same goes for Jude Bellingham (9) and James Ward Bruce (22nd).
Others, like Conor Gallagher (33), cut their work to climb the ladder.
Dyer’s shape puts it in the foreground
Eric Der The prospects for the World Cup looked bleak at the start of this season. The Tottenham defender has not featured in the national team since November 2020. A call-up seemed a long way off.
His subsequent return to the fold is a reminder of how quickly things can change. Dier has been excellent for Spurs recently, his leadership performance was a key factor in their unbeaten start to the Premier League season, and this has not gone unnoticed.
His form has prompted him to return to Southgate’s squad for England’s upcoming Nations League matches, and his experience – he has 45 caps behind him – may have put him ahead. Conor Cody (24), Fikayo Tomori (26), Mark Joyehy (27th), Ben White (xxxi) Tyrone Mings (38) and Joe Gomez (40) in defensive standings.
The 28-year-old is the 21st on our ladder.
Tony should take his chance
Evan Tony The inclusion was the major news from Southgate’s latest squad, as the Brentford striker secured his first call-up on the back of five goals from six Premier League games.
Looks like his shape pushed him up Olly Watkins 39th on Southgate’s thinking – not to mention the duo’s injury Callum Wilson And the Dominic Calvert-Lewinwho does not currently appear in our ladder of 40 men – but he can rape Tammy Abraham (25) too?
Abraham has established himself as the preferred alternative for Southgate versus Kane, which is why he is five places higher than Tony (30) in our ladder, but the Brentford man is hoping he gets a chance to sway against Italy and Germany.
If he does, his upward trajectory may continue.
Rashford’s momentum stopped
Another player vying for a place among Southgate’s offensive options is Marcus Rashfordwho is 29th in the ladder after rediscovering his best form after a dismal spell with Manchester United.
The 24-year-old has featured prominently under new United boss Erik ten Hag, having scored three goals and provided assists in six Premier League matches so far this season.
In fact, he might have been preparing to face Italy and Germany over the next few days had it not been for what he described as an “untimely” muscle injury that now threatens to halt his momentum.
Rashford was not in Southgate’s last squad as a result, but he could be encouraged by what the England boss has said about him. “He’s a player we know well, so if he can perform at a high level in the next few weeks, it will of course be under consideration.”
Southgate has not given such reassurances to Jadon Sancho (32nd place), who has also admired Manchester United this season but has not featured for England since the 5-0 win over Andorra a year ago.
Rashford appears to be a more likely bet for Southgate’s World Cup 26 than Sancho, provided he can shake off his injury, and his level could also put West Ham in a position. Jarrod Bowen (23) in danger.
Bowen won four England caps after impressing with David Moyes’ side last season, but his form has faltered this season and while he has retained his place in Southgate’s latest squad, he may need to improve in the coming weeks if he is to stay there.