Gareth Southgate faces a huge call on whether to take and James Maddison to when he names his England squad for the today.
The manager is set to stick with a mainly tried and tested group when he announces his 26-man party for the tournament, which begins on November 20, and question marks remain over whether the likes of forward Rashford and Leicester playmaker Maddison will earn a place on the plane.
Rashford has not kicked a ball for England since missing his spot-kick in last year’s European Championship final penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy, but has starred since Erik ten Hag’s arrival at Old Trafford.
Maddison’s impressive form at the King Power Stadium has increased the clamour for the attacking midfielder (below) to be selected for the first time since his solitary cap in 2019, while striker Callum Wilson has caught the eye for Newcastle.
Brentford’s Ivan Toney, who has nine goals this term, is in the mix to be picked after a first call-up for September’s matches against Italy and Germany, even though he remains uncapped.
Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s slim hopes could be scuppered by the latest in a string of injuries.
Right-back Reece James yesterday confirmed he had not made the squad following a knee problem while his Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell is also ruled out by an injured hamstring. James revealed he was ‘devastated’ to be staying at home and claimed he had hoped to make the latter stages.
The more positive news for Southgate is defender Kyle Walker looks set to recover from groin surgery in time to join up with England but Manchester City colleague, midfielder Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), is badly short of game time.
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Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold has fallen down the pecking order at right-back and will be sweating on his inclusion, while Manchester United’s Harry Maguire has featured sparsely for his club but is still likely to go to Qatar.
Southgate is not set to spring any major surprises with the squad flying to Doha next Tuesday and the Group B opener with Iran just ten days away.
He has until Monday to confirm his squad with Fifa and the England manager would be forgiven for watching the final round of Premier League matches from behind the sofa this weekend, hoping no more of his players pick up injuries.
Cabin fever hits World Cup as fans prepare for desert dorm
Organisers in have unveiled the basic £175-a-night portable cabins fans can stay in at the .
Pictures released yesterday show some of the accommodation where England supporters will be asked to pay £1,225 to stay if they stick around for the average seven nights which organisers expect.
Images from the Al-Emadi fan village – near Hamad Airport – show thousands of brightly painted aluminium cabins laid out in long rows in the desert.
But the interiors are not as eye-catching. Guests get a single or double bed depending on who they are staying with, plus basic toilet and drink-making facilities.
A temporary supermarket is on site and there are outdoor screens to watch games. But strict Sharia laws prohibit alcohol sales outside of specially licensed venues. Qatar expects more than a million visitors but has fewer than 31,000 hotel rooms.
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