Southgate springs no surprises for England’s last outing in 2021.


England manager Gareth Southgate has announced his 25 man squad for this month’s final round of 2022 World Cup Qualifiers against Albania and San Marino, including a return for Trent Alexander-Arnold in place of Kieran Trippier.

Southgate spoke early in his press conference about his depth at RB, noting Trippier’s absence is not a permanent one, but simply to ‘offer opportunities’ to Alexander-Arnold and Reece James, as well as Kyle Walker who’s ability to play comfortably in a back 3 makes him a Southgate favourite. Tino Livramento and Max Aarons also got name checked by Southgate as ones for the future in the position – England’s most well stocked area of the pitch.

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The manager also has stuck largely with the forwards and midfielders that got England to the Euros final in the summer, with Jadon Sancho missing, and Tammy Abraham as well as James Ward-Prowse added in from those who made that squad in June and July. Sancho, as well as Manchester United teammate Jesse Lingard are out from the squad due to their lowly amount of minutes played and form for the club.

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Overall this is a no risk squad from Southgate. He spoke of the trust in the group and the players “best placed to get us over the line”. There’s been no real surprises in additions or exclusions from the squad with the manager sticking largely to the players who got so far in the Euros – others such as James Ward-Prowse and Tammy Abraham aren’t new to the squad either. Despite the younger age profile of the England squad now, this is a squad who’ve gained experience over the past 12-18 months for their country whilst Southgate lets younger talents like Emile-Smith Rowe, Marc Guehi and others work more and more under new U21s manager Lee Carsley before bringing them up to the seniors. The need for these younger players isn’t there just yet but will surely come in time.

England play Albania at Wembley on Friday 12th November with a 7.45pm GMT kick off, before rounding off their 2022 World Cup Qualifying campaign to San Marino away the following Monday (15th November) with a 7.25pm GMT kick off. Both games are live on ITV1 in the UK.

Full squad for November 2021 fixtures:

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal) 

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

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

Forwards: Tammy Abraham (AS Roma), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

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