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