As part of his preparations for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, England manager Gareth Southgate is anticipated to make changes to his team for matches against Switzerland and Ivory Coast.
England will play friendly against Switzerland and Ivory Coast, the two sides’ first encounter at the senior level, in support of the FA’s official charitable affiliation with the Alzheimer’s Society International. Southgate will announce his match squad at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 17th.
Jordan Pickford has established himself as a pillar of Southgate’s squad, fending off competition to play every match at Euro 2020, but he is battling relegation with Everton after surrendering five goals to Tottenham on Monday night.
Aaron Ramsdale of Arsenal, who has 11 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, third-most after Ederson and Alisson Becker, poses a threat to the Merseyside goalie.
Nonetheless, it will be difficult to unseat Pickford, who initially established himself in the starting XI at the 2018 World Cup. Nick Pope has fallen down the pecking order at relegation-threatened Burnley this season, but he was in line to replace Pickford ahead of the Euros until suffering a major knee injury that necessitated surgery.
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Harry Maguire, like Pickford, seldom puts a foot wrong for England but has struggled at club level as Manchester United’s chances of finishing in the top four dwindle. John Stones, his center-back partner at Manchester City, has fought for game time, but the duo has yet to disappoint the boss.
With so much riding on these friendlies, Southgate may decide to try out fresh combinations by recalling AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori, whose near-fluent Italian interview this week helped bring attention to his form with the Serie A table-toppers.
Only Chelsea, Man City, and Liverpool have a better defensive record in the Premier League this season than Wolves’ Conor Coady, and he might be joined by teammate Max Kilman, who is awaiting his first international call-up.
England has failed to create promising midfielders since the days of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, and Paul Scholes.
There are many possibilities nowadays, but Southgate has a tough challenge in appeasing supporters who will always see at least one brilliant candidate miss out.
Despite Borussia Dortmund’s poor run, which saw them knocked out of the Europa League by Rangers, Jude Bellingham continues to impress as a young leader.
Smith, Emile Despite losing his position in the Arsenal starting XI to Martin Odegaard, Rowe is still in the mix. This season, the No. 10 has scored nine goals, which is tied for the most by a midfielder.
Conor Gallagher is having a fantastic loan term at Crystal Palace, contributing to 14 goals, but he will likely have to dislodge Mason Mount, who has a more solid position in the side.
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Harry Kane is just one goal behind Sir Bobby Charlton in terms of international goals, and he is back on track at the club level, having scored 10 league goals and passing Thierry Henry on the all-time Premier League goals list.
Although the Spurs striker and England captain is first on Southgate’s squad sheet, the issue of who should follow him remains.
After a difficult season, Marcus Rashford is reportedly evaluating his future at Manchester United, and with Jarrod Bowen emerging as West Ham’s primary outlet, there have been demands for him to earn his first England cap.
He’s been crucial to the Hammers’ quest for the top four, giving Michail Antonio the support he needed during his uncommon goal drought.
Jadon Sancho has also attracted the wrath of the critics, having previously struggled to gain a starting berth in Manchester, but since becoming a regular, he has probably been the Red Devils’ single bright spot.