Gareth Southgate unlikely to ring changes as England begin post-Euro 2020 action

Southgate’s selection for the Group I fixtures is expected to be similar to the group that progressed through to the final in July

Simon Peach
Wednesday 25 August 2021 16:20
How England reached the Euro 2020 final

Gareth Southgate will name his first England squad since Euro 2020 on Thursday, with Mason Greenwood and Trent Alexander-Arnold expected to get the nod after missing the summer run to the final.

Just 46 days on from the crushing shoot-out loss to Italy in the European Championship showpiece, the Three Lions boss will select his squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

England’s Qatar 2022 qualification triple-header starts with a trip to Hungary on 2 September, before hosting Andorra in their first Wembley match since the final and then heading out to Poland.

Southgate’s selection for the Group I fixtures is expected to be similar to the group that progressed through to the Euros final in July.

Greenwood and Alexander-Arnold are reportedly set to be brought into the group, having started the season well after injury ruled them out of contention for the tournament.

Greenwood has scored two goals in Manchester United’s opening two fixtures and is set to get the chance to make his first appearance since being sent home from Iceland following his debut.

Alexander-Arnold has provided an assist and helped Liverpool keep back-to-back clean sheets but faces stiff competition at right-back from the likes of Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James.

Nick Pope is set to return to the squad after surgery ruled him out of the Euros, while Leicester’s Harvey Barnes has looked lively since returning from the knee injury that ruled him out of the end of last season.

Marcus Rashford, who was among those to miss penalties in the final shoot-out, will not be in the squad after undergoing surgery on a long-standing shoulder issue earlier this month.

Phil Foden is another Euro 2020 squad member who will miss out as the playmaker recovers from a foot injury, while goalkeeper Dean Henderson is building fitness after contracting Covid-19 last month.

Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse is pushing for a recall having been cut from the provisional Euros squad.

Jesse Lingard was another in that boat but his chances of being involved look remote having yet to start since returning to United, while Ollie Watkins has yet to feature this term due to a knee complaint.

New Aston Villa teammate Danny Ings has made his case for an international return since his summer switch from Southampton and Tammy Abraham impressed on his Roma debut.

Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who joined Rashford in missing their spot-kicks against Italy, are set be involved in the squad.

Southgate will face questions on a variety of topics at the press conference, with the mindset of England captain Harry Kane among them having committed his immediate future to Tottenham after angling for a summer exit.

The England manager was at Molineux on Sunday as the 28-year-old came off the bench against Wolves, where he will have been impressed by Dele Alli’s match-winning display.

The 2018 World Cup semi-finalist won the last of his 37 caps in June 2019.