England Name Squad For 2018 World Cup

England have announced their final squad for the World Cup, with few surprise announcements in manager Gareth Southgate's 23-man selection.

Long-term mainstays such as goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder Jack Wilshere were not among the names chosen to travel to Russia, but their absences were announced earlier in the week after they had been informed personally by Southgate.

However, Southgate has included Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has no previous World Cup experience, and Crystal Palace's Ruben Loftus-Cheek after he helped the club avoid Premier League relegation last season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold. Credit: PA
Trent Alexander-Arnold. Credit: PA

Hart's omission means that Burnley keeper Nick Pope - who was second pick at his club less than a year ago - will now represent his country at a World Cup. He made his Premier League debut in September after Burnley's first-choice keeper Tom Heaton got injured and cemented his place as the unfancied Clarets finished seventh in the league.

England will warm up for the World Cup with friendlies against Nigeria on June 2nd and Costa Rica on June 7th, before departing for the tournament on 12th June.

Their first game will be against Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18th, then Panama in Nizhny Novgorod and finally Belgium in Kaliningrad. Should they progress from the group, they will face a nation from Group H - one of Colombia, Japan, Senegal and Poland.

Manager Southgate has not set any concrete expectations for his team, telling ESPN: "I could sit here and say this round or that round -- but it doesn't mean anything, really, because we have to keep improving as a team.

"We're trying to change the style of play - we have our young players developing with better technical ability with the ball. We know these players and we believe that, in the long term, some of them can be world class players.

"Maybe there are other players a bit older playing in the league who might be better now or more experienced, but we don't think we could win a World Cup with them in future and would rather invest time and show belief in young players we think could be world class.

"For a long time, we have worried about what might go wrong -- but we have to look at how far can we go and how far can we progress."

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Man City), Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose (both Tottenham), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Phil Jones (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea)

Midfielder: Jordan Henderson, (Liverpool), Eric Dier, Dele Alli (both Tottenham), Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young (both Man Utd), Fabian Delph (Man City), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea),

Forwards: Raheem Sterling (Man City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

Featured Image Credit: PA

Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]

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