Who will make the cut in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England squad?

by | May 27, 2021

Who will make the cut in Gareth Southgate's 26-man England squad - and who will be in the starting 11 for England v Croatia on June 13?

GARETH SOUTHGATE has announced his 33-man provisional squad for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament - but by Tuesday (June 1), he will have to let six of those players know that they have not made the final cut.

So, which of the six players will miss out? And who is set to be in the starting 11 for the England v Croatia game on June 13?

Four uncapped players - Ben White, Ben Godfrey, Sam Johnstone and Aaron Ramsdale -  are in Southgate's 33-man provisional Euro 2020 squad.

Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, La Liga title winner Kieran Trippier, Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins and 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham are also in the provisional squad, but Leeds' Patrick Bamford, Leicester's James Maddison, Tottenham's Eric Dier and injured Burnley keeper Nick Pope were all left out.

One of the big talking points ahead of Southgate's provisional squad selection was which right backs he would include from Atletico's Trippier, Manchester City's Kyle Walker, Chelsea's Reece James and Alexander-Arnold - but all of them made the initial squad.

Southgate will wait until after the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea to name his final 26-man squad, as a number of the players in his provisional squad are involved in the game.

He will assess the fitness of several players before making his final selection.

As one of four right backs in the provisional squad, Trippier could miss out, and one of Johnstone or Ramsdale - the two uncapped keepers in the 33-man squad - is also expected to miss the cut. Everton defender Godfrey is thought to have been included in the provisional squad as cover, so could be left out of the 26-man squad.

But that still leaves another four players who will be disappointed. Brighton's White, Southampton's James Ward-Prowse, Manchester United's Mason Greenwood, Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Arsenal's Bukayo Sako are among the group of players who have their fingers crossed.

As for who starts against Croatia, Jordan Pickford appears to be Southgate's first choice keeper, with Dean Henderson as back up.

Harry Maguire and John Stones should both start if fit, leaving one centre back spot available if Southgate opts for a three-man defence, which could be filled by Walker. Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell are the two contenders for the left back or left wing back role, with James, Alexander-Arnold and Trippier the contenders for a right back or right wing back role. If Southgate opts for a back four, Walker is likely to get the nod at right back.

Mason Mount looks certain to start in an attacking midfield role and if Southgate opts for two defensive midfielders, he is likely to select two from Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips.

Harry Kane is an automatic selection and Phil Foden is a likely starter, with Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish the other contenders for a place in the starting 11. But looking at the other players in contention, Southgate has plenty of talent at his disposal, with the likes of Jesse Lingard, Bellingham, Ward-Prowse, Sancho and Greenwood all knocking on the door.
After naming his final 26-man squad, Southgate will start his tournament preparations with two friendlies at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium - against Austria on 2 June and Romania on 6 June.

England face Croatia in their opening group game on 13 June (14:00 BST), then take on Scotland on 18 June (20:00) and the Czech Republic in their final Group D game on 22 June (20:00). All three games are at Wembley.

England's provisional 33 man squad

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Man Utd), Sam Johnstone (West Brom), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Sheff Utd)

Defenders: John Stones (Man City), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Man City), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Reece James (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Ben Godfrey (Everton), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Ben White (Brighton)

Midfielders: Mason Mount (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Jesse Lingard (Man Utd), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Mason Greenwood (Man Utd), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

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