London: England’s interim football manager Gareth Southgate has announced a 25-member squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Scotland and international friendly against Spain.
The England football team is scheduled to meet Scotland on November 11 while the tie against Spain is on November 15.
Experienced goalkeeper Joe Hart, who has rediscovered his form at Italy’s Serie A outfit Torino, is expected to retain his place in the starting XI.
The 29-year-old will be keen to make amends for a disappointing campaign at the European Championships earlier this year when England crashed out following a defeat to vastly improved Iceland in the second round.
However, Hart is facing stiff competition as the first choice custodian for the England team from Tom Heaton, who has been in impressive form for Burnley this season.
John Stones and Gary Cahill are expected to be retained at the centre of the defence. However, Everton captain Phil Jagielka, who had pulled out of England’s important World Cup qualifer away to Slovenia, will also be in contention for a look in.
The Liverpool duo of Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana, Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater and Raheem Sterling of Manchester City also return to the squad after missing out England’s last engagements against Malta and Slovenia due to injuries.
Uncapped Burnley defender Michael Keane retained his place in the squad which was announced on Sunday evening.
“Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking at as many games as possible and keeping track of all of the players. There were some players that weren’t available to us last time with injury who are in good form that make the frame — the likes of Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling. It’s good to be able to welcome them back,” Southgate was quoted as saying by the official website of England’s Football Association (FA) on Sunday.
“Similarly Harry Kane. We had some good discussions with a lot of the clubs over the past few weeks, and Tottenham have been very helpful in terms of Harry’s availability. Of course, Jack Wilshere is a player that we feel has a lot of class and is now starting to get more 90-minutes under his belt. It’s good to bring him back into the squad,” he added.
The match against Spain will be England’s last international engagement this year.
Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino), Tom Heaton (Burnley).
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Michael Keane (Burnley), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Bournemouth, loan from Arsenal), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).
Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).
First Published | 7 November 2016 3:05 PM