Football News

England’s World Cup 2022 squad odds: Who will be on the plane to Qatar?

By Ben Green

Published: 14:00, 5 September 2022

We know the stage, the dates and the nations who will be competing in the 2022 World Cup. What we don’t know is the players. Gareth Southgate has just two months to decided which England stars will make his 26-man squad for Qatar 2022.

The heartache of Euro 2020 is now a distant memory and all eyes will be on the World Cup in the hope that England can go one step further and get their hands on a trophy for the first time since 1966.

The seeds of a successful side have certainly been sown by Southgate. He has now led the Three Lions to a World Cup semi-final and a European Championship final. If you have a penchant for patterns, the next logical step in that sequence is for Harry Kane to be holding the Jules Rimet Trophy aloft next year, right?

Unfortunately, the beauty of football is such that it rarely sticks to a pattern; it’s the unpredictability that makes sport unique. In just a few months a lot can change. Between Russia 2018 and Euro 2020 a lot also changed. Think of how different the two squads were in such a short period of time. It’s entirely likely we could see such a difference one again.

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The likes of Declan Rice, Jack Grealish, Kalvin Phillips, Tyrone Mings, Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Reece James, Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell were all tournament debutants in 2021 with most now established names in, and around, the England camp.

So, will there be another gem who bursts onto the scene in the coming weeks? Will the likes of Conor Gallagher and James Maddison push on and improve on the caps they’ve already gained? Will Trent Alexander-Arnold continue his Cafu tribute act and establish himself as first choice right back for the normally pragmatic Southgate? Or, can the likes of James Ward-Prowse or even Harvey Elliott shine so much that they can’t be ignored? And what of the likes of Tammy Abraham, Jarrod Bowen and fast-starter Ivan Toney?

There are many ifs and buts ahead of the nation’s Middle Eastern venture, but how are the odds looking at this moment in time for England players, aspirants and youngsters alike to make Southgate’s 26-man squad for the World Cup in 2022? After all, we’re not far away now…

Goalkeepers (via Sky Bet)

Jordan Pickford became only the second goalkeeper in European Championship history to keep five clean sheets in one tournament, after Iker Casillas, while he saved two penalties in England’s final shootout with Italy in 2021. Although he never really hits the same heights with Everton, he looks like a lock to be in Gareth Southgate’s squad in November. Arsenal keeper, Aaron Ramsdale also looks near certain to join him, but who will be the third choice for Southgate?

Defenders

England’s situation at both centre back and left back almost seemed set in stone following the Euros, with the likes of John Stones, Harry Maguire, Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw all seemingly immovable. However, last season, Fikayo Tomori put his name firmly in the frame following his Serie A title win with Milan, while Marc Guehi had an outrageous debut campaign for Crystal Palace. Ben White also impressed at Arsenal, while the likes of Craig Dawson and Chris Smalling were named in the ‘Team of the Tournament’ for the Europa League and Conference League respectively. Versatile defender James Justin has also received debut caps in recent months, so he may be one to watch, while Tyrick Mitchell has thrust his name into the frame.

The situation on the other side of the pitch remains equally precarious. Will Southgate stick with the trusted duo of Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier, even though both will be 32 by the time the tournament rolls around or will the England boss decide to usher in a new era with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James both chomping at the bit to be given a sustained chance at right back?

Midfielders

You certainly can’t claim England don’t have any quality in the middle of the pitch. Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount and Phil Foden would like a word if you do… All four looks like near certainties to be in Qatar but there’s only so many seats on the plane and who joins them could still be a mystery that Southgate has yet to solve.

Does Conor Gallagher’s continued emergence in Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea XI following that spell at Palace earn him a place in the squad? Does James Ward-Prowse’s ability from set plays make him a real asset in the final 26 or is he a luxury that we can’t afford? Will Harvey Elliott, Eberechi Eze or Jack Harrison force themselves into the plans of the England management team? There are, perhaps, more questions in the midfield than anywhere else and the man who has to find the answers is running out of time.

Forwards

  • Harry Kane 1/20
  • Raheem Sterling 1/12
  • Tammy Abraham 1/2
  • Marcus Rashford 1/2
  • Jadon Sancho 8/15
  • Jarrod Bowen 4/7
  • Ivan Toney 6/4
  • Callum Wilson 9/2
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin 5/1
  • Ollie Watkins 13/2
  • Patrick Bamford 9/1
  • Eddie Nketiah 16/1
  • Callum Hudson-Odoi 20/1
  • Danny Ings 22/1
  • Danny Welbeck 25/1
  • Demarai Gray 25/1
  • Jamie Vardy 25/1
  • Ademola Lookman 33/1
  • Cole Palmer 33/1
  • Dominic Solanke 33/1
  • Adam Armstrong 50/1
  • Cameron Archer 50/1
  • Joe Gelhardt 50/1
  • Keinan Davis 50/1
  • Ryan Kent 50/1
  • Dane Scarlett 66/1
  • Jay Rodriguez 66/1
  • Keane Lewis-Potter 66/1
  • Liam Delap 66/1

The landscape up front for England has changed slightly in recent months. Harry Kane is still vital to the front line but the players around him have all, in some way, struggled to maintain their lofty positions in the England set up. Raheem Sterling suffered from being one of many diamonds in the Man City squad and will now be looking to shine at Chelsea, Marcus Rashford has dipped and now picked up form under Erik ten Hag, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been a victim of injury and a terrible year for Everton.

Two players have emerged as genuine options though; Jarrod Bowen and Tammy Abraham have been in incredible form for their clubs. Bowen was linked with a move to Liverpool in the summer whilst Abraham has excelled at Roma, scoring 17 times last season in a very competitive Serie A. It would certainly be a brave man to ignore the form of players who are scoring consistently, not least Ivan Toney, who is third only behind Erling Haaland (10) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (six) in the Premier League’s early Golden Boot race.

With almost three months of the 2022/23 season to play before the World Cup arrives, there is plenty of time for the likes of Wilson, Ollie Watkins or Eddie Nketiah to put forward their case to be included too. A striking headache certainly isn’t the biggest problem but it’s definitely one that exists for Southgate ahead of one of the most important tournaments in his tenure as England manager.

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