England World Cup squad ladder: In-form James Maddison climbs into contention for Qatar
Over the past two months, the Sky Sports England World Cup squad ladder has been charting the form of the candidates for a spot in his team, and with the big announcement approaching on Thursday, Southgate still has some major decisions to make.
John Stones (up two, 9th) is back in action for Manchester City, and his long-term defensive partner for England, Harry Maguire (up one, 15th), also makes our ‘on the plane’ list. The Manchester United center-back may not be playing every game for his club, but he’s fit and Southgate believes in him.
- The draw for the Emirates FA Cup second round proper has been made.
- Europa League Draw: Manchester United draw Barcelona in Europa playoff
- Chelsea leading race for €75m-rated Brazilian wing wizard Neymar
James Maddison (up six places to 24th) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (up two places to 25th) have been far less certain of a call-up under Southgate, but a combination of fine form – 10 Premier League goals in 12 games for Leicester’s Maddison – and injuries – to Reece James (35th) and Kyle Walker (27th) in Alexander-position Arnold’s – have surely put them in a strong position for involvement
Southgate will have to make some difficult decisions about some marginal players, with the balance and make-up of his team a crucial element, considering that this tournament comes in the middle of an already hard season.
Following Ben Chilwell’s heartbreaking hamstring injury, one critical choice will be who will replace Luke Shaw (10th).
Ryan Sessegnon (up nine spots to 31st) and newcomers Dan Burn (32nd), James Justin (36th), Tyrick Mitchell (37th), Rico Henry (38th), and Aaron Cresswell (39th) will all be hoping for a phone call this week.