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Explained: Why England boss Southgate is set to name a 55-man provisional World Cup squad

5:28 PM GMT 19/10/2022
Gareth Southgate England 2022
Gareth Southgate is set to name a provisional 55-man England squad a month ahead of the winter World Cup in Qatar.
  • Nations must name two squads
  • One will be provisional
  • Other will be confirmed 26-man squad

WHAT HAPPENED? There is always plenty of discussion over who should - and who shouldn't - be in the England squad at a major tournament. Given some of the recent decisions, it feels like there is more debate than ever about which players will be on the plane to Qatar.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: On October 21, a provisional squad must be submitted to FIFA which will include a range of players between 35 and 55. The Telegraph has reported that Southgate will opt to use the full quota, while other managers may choose to select a squad nearer the lower end of the scale.

AND WHAT'S MORE: The greater squad size allows Southgate to keep his options open heading into the World Cup next month as players such as Eberechi Eze, Joe Gomez and Ruben Loftus-Cheek - as well as injured pair Kyle Walker and Reece James - are set to be included. However, that squad then needs to be cut to 26 players on November 13 - just eight days before England's campaign begins against Iran.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR SOUTHGATE? Regardless of who he selects, the final 26-man squad will be heavily scrutinised. The inclusion, or exclusion, of players like Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Maddison are likely to provide the main talking points with Southgate seemingly not as keen on them as a large portion of Three Lions fans.