England play two Nations League games during the international break and this will be the dress rehearsal before the World Cup begins in November.
Gareth Southgate has named his 28-man squad for the Italy and the Germany games and it’s safe to say that there are some shocking inclusions.
A mid-season World Cup means players’ form has become really vital and those who are not in their peak form will most likely be warming the benches for England in Qatar.
The upcoming two matches will give us an idea of what Southgate is planning to do in the WC but we have a feeling that the Three Lions boss is once again going to rely on some of his favourites – irrespective of their current form.
We take a look at five players who shouldn’t be starting for England based on their current form but Southgate is still likely to choose them over the other probable.
Luke Shaw has fallen down the pecking order under Erik ten Hag thanks to the signing of Tyrell Malacia and so far, he’s played just 134 minutes in the Premier League for Manchester United.
Despite this, he was selected for the England squad and this decision has already been questioned by pundit Paul Merson.
“I was shocked with the Luke Shaw one, if I’m being honest. The amount of full-backs we have in this country and talented full-backs at that. I was shocked with that,” Merson said, as quoted by Stretty News.
Ideally, Ben Chilwell or even Kieran Tripper should be playing at left-back but we have a feeling Southgate is going to put his faith in Shaw for the next two matches.
Luke Shaw 💪 pic.twitter.com/LBYYv1cP5v
— Manchester United (@MUnitedFR) September 17, 2022
Maguire has suffered a similar fate to Luke Shaw and it’s very clear that the Man United captain is going to warm the benches at his club for the rest of the season.
However, Southgate has publicly admitted that Harry Maguire brings in a different dynamic to the national team squad so he’s a definite starter for England.
He’s the ideal defender for how Southgate sets up his side so it’s probably going to be Maguire and Stones who are going to pair up in central defence. This means someone like Eric Dier will have to be on the bench, despite starting the season in such fine form.
Nick Pope has done really well for Newcastle United this season but right now, it should be Aaron Ramsdale who should be manning the goal.
Ramsdale has been in top form since joining Arsenal but Southgate’s England does not particularly play out from the back so he needs someone who’s a better shot-stopper rather than a sweeper keeper.
Mason Mount has been one of the regular starters for England under the current manager but this season, he’s been really average for Chelsea.
— Chilwell (@HQChilwell) September 20, 2022
He’s not scored or assisted for Chelsea in six league games and purely based on this season’s form, he should be on the bench for the Three Lions.
Grealish joined Manchester City with a lot of high hopes but he’s not yet become a regular under Pep Guardiola. He did have a good outing against Wolves but the reality is that he’s scored only one goal and assisted none in three league appearances this season.
Based on current form, Grealish shouldn’t be starting for England but we think Gareth Southgate will put faith in this – at least during this international break.