England manager Gareth Southgate to name 55-man provisional squad for World Cup
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Gareth Southgate will name a provisional 55-man England squad ahead of this winter's World Cup, according to reports.
Believe it not, we are just over a month away (not long now) from England's opening game in Group B against underdogs Iran, and gossip of who will – and will not – make the final 26-man squad is in full swing.
From Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Maddison to Callum Wilson and Brighton forward Danny Welbeck, who has been tipped to be named in the Three Lions squad come November.
Talk of certain players featuring in Qatar continues to spark debate with the competition in sight. But ultimately, the final decision lies with Gareth Southgate.
So how does it work?
A process is in place when it comes to submitting a World Cup squad. On October 21, a provisional squad must be submitted to FIFA which will include a range of players between 35 and 55.
Southgate will opt to max out that quota and select 55 players, according to The Telegraph, who suggest in-form Crystal Palace winger Eberechi Eze will make the cut.
That being said, Eze, who scored for the Eagles in their Premier League clash against Wolves on Tuesday, will only make the 26-man squad if there are a host of injuries to England’s attacking talent.
Liverpool defender Joe Gomez will likely be included in the provisional squad, as will Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek and injured players Kyle Walker and Reece James.
Roma manager Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, believes that Southgate should recall Chris Smalling to the England squad ahead of this winter's tournament.
The former Manchester United defender has revitalised his career in Italy’s top-flight league.
And after making 110 appearances in a three year spell at the Stadio Olimpico, Mourinho thinks the centre-back deserves a second chance in the Three Lions squad after highlighting his versatility in a back three.
Speaking after Roma’s 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Monday, Mourinho told reporters: “He was taught to play in a two-man defence in Manchester, but now he’s got the perfect acumen to play in a three-man backline.
“If I were the coach of a national team, I would do anything to have someone like him at my disposal.
“I don’t think it’s a lack of respect to Gareth Southgate when I say that I feel very sorry for a player who’s playing at such a high level like Smalling and who won’t get the opportunity he deserves.”
Who do you think deserves a place in the 55-man squad?
Let us know in the comments.