Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mason Greenwood are expected to be called up to the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers next month.
Both players missed Euro 2020 – where England reached the final before being beaten by Italy on penalties – after suffering pre-tournament injuries.
But the pair have started the season well after regaining their fitness, with Greenwood scoring in both Manchester United’s Premier League games, and Alexander-Arnold helping Liverpool keep back-to-back clean sheets.
Gareth Southgate will name his squad for the matches against Hungary, Andorra and Poland on Thursday.
Despite being named to Southgate’s extended squad ahead of Euro 2020 before having to step down due to injury, Greenwood has not played for his country since September 2020, when he was sent home. him after breaking coronavirus protocols after a game in Iceland.
Alexander-Arnold has played more regularly for England – representing his country four times last season – but is expected to face stiff competition from right-back Kyle Walker, Reece James and Kieran Trippier.
Harry Kane, who confirmed on Wednesday that he will remain at Tottenham this summer despite having informed the club that he wants to leave during the current transfer window, is also expected to be named to the squad.
Spurs have pushed back Manchester City’s attempts to sign Kane, but it is understood Southgate has plans to include his captain in their squad even though he was engaged in transfer negotiations until Tuesday’s deadline.
Arrangements have reportedly been made to allow Kane to complete a medical or an off-site trip to make any possible deal if this happens after the England squad meet after this weekend’s Premier League fixtures.
Kane returned to Tottenham for the preseason later than expected – although he denied refusing to train – and was further delayed after being forced into quarantine after arriving from Barbados, via Florida.
He missed Spurs’ first two games of the season, but proved his fitness by coming off the bench in the second half of their 1-0 win over Wolves on Sunday – his first action since the Euro 2020 final .
Southgate plans to name their strongest team possible for the qualifiers, with Hungary and Poland arguably England’s toughest opponents in Group I.
The first of three matches will take place in Budapest on September 2, before Andorra travel to Wembley three days later. England will complete their match against Poland in Warsaw on September 8.
Most of the squad will be similar to the one that led England to the Euro 2020 final at Wembley 45 days ago, although Nick Pope is set to return after an injury. also excluded from the competition.
However, Southgate will limit themselves to calling only 23 players, rather than the 26 they were allowed for the Euro. Each team will be able to make five substitutions per game during the playoffs.
No away supporters in Hungary or Poland
Regardless of any positive change in travel status, there will be a cauldron of partisan support in Budapest and Warsaw as no outside supporters will be allowed.
FIFA and UEFA decided earlier this month that international matches in Europe in September should not welcome visiting supporters due to a “spike” in Covid-19 cases.
According to the England Supporters Travel Club, 7,000 interest requests were made for tickets for the Hungarian match. Another 6,000 have registered to apply for a ticket to the game against Poland, so fans can be encouraged to travel regardless of their inability to enter the stadium.
Who else could be called? ings? Alli?
Marcus Rashford, who was among those who missed the penalties in the final shootout, will not be in the squad after undergoing surgery on a long-standing shoulder problem earlier this month.
Phil Foden is another member of the Euro 2020 squad who will be sidelined as the playmaker recovers from a foot injury, while goalkeeper Dean Henderson improves his fitness after contracting Covid-19 on last month.
Danny Ings started his career at Aston Villa in the form of goals, including that spectacular kick over the head in the win over Newcastle.
And what about Dele Alli? More than two years now since his last international appearance, his early-season form in a deeper midfielder role for Tottenham has shown promise.
Question marks about White and Chilwell
Dean Henderson’s continued absence means Sam Johnstone and Aaron Ramsdale will likely support Jordan Pickford’s goalkeepers.
However, there will be question marks about Ben White and Ben Chilwell.
White is currently recovering from Covid-19 after missing Arsenal’s loss to Chelsea and is a significant doubt for their clash with Manchester City this weekend.
Ben Chilwell didn’t play a minute for England at Euro 2020 – and was sidelined after being seen as close contact following Billy Gilmour’s positive Covid-19 test during the tournament .
So far, Chilwell has not played for Chelsea this season – Thomas Tuchel having opted for Marcos Alonso.
Will England face Covid-19 / travel issues?
England’s three World Cup qualifiers in September involve trips to Hungary and Poland, with a home game against Andorra in between.
At this point there are no concerns about the release of players from Gareth Southgate’s squad as Hungary and Poland are on the UK’s orange list.
The next government travel review is imminent – and reports suggest the two countries could move to the green list, considered one of the safest for travel.
What do the statistics say?
As Southgate prepares to name his squad, we’ve compiled an England XI from the stats Sky Sports Power Rankings this season and there are a few surprise selections – albeit from a limited number of games played.
The aptly named Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Etienne Green sparked the first clash in goal by ousting current England number 1 Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope – after recently revealing his desire to play for his homeland.
Former Premier League starlets Reece Oxford and Fikayo Timori secure center-back spots – having started the campaign brilliantly for AC Milan and FC Augsburg, respectively.
Alexander-Arnold missed Euro 2020 with injury, but the 22-year-old kicked off the season with form that warrants inclusion, while West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell occupies the left flank after wearing his last term in the new campaign.
A more familiar trio is in pencil in a three-man midfielder, with Declan Rice in the center, flanked by Mason Mount and Jack Grealish – although Southgate is unlikely to play Manchester’s Â£ 100million rookie City in this deeper role.
Above, man of the moment Michail Antonio becomes the third West Ham player to make the XI after his explosive start with three goals in two games. Antonio has chosen to represent Jamaica but has yet to make his international debut for them. As such, he remains eligible to be selected by England for the time being.
Meanwhile, Greenwood and Montpellier and former Arsenal striker Stephy Mavididi make their debuts on the left.
2022 World Cup Qualifiers on Sky Sports
Watch the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies live on Sky Sports; also follow through our dedicated live blogs, and watch in-game clips and highlights from free matches on Sky Sports digital platforms.
Follow England’s qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup with our dedicated live blogs. Watch free match highlights on Sky Sports digital platforms 15 minutes after the full duration of those matches.
Exiting Euro 2020 … What lessons can be learned?
Tomorrow’s squad announcement will be the first time we’ve heard from the England manager since the next morning. this defeat against Italy at Wembley.
While reaffirming his desire to lead the team to Qatar 2022, Southgate spoke of the emotional toll the tournament has caused him and his players – and the need for rest, recovery and reflection.
Did he watch the final return? If so, what lessons did he take?
There is no doubt that such a diligent manager at Southgate, aided by Steve Holland and a host of skilled coaches and video staff, will be looking to learn from that disappointing July night.
But, is the message now to forget and move on? To make sure this generation of gamers isn’t afraid of the biggest “what if?” “
Southgate strongly backed Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka after their failures on penalties.
He will have already been cheered by Saka’s applause from fans at Brentford, Tottenham and Chelsea this season – but Sancho and Rashford have been the target of abuse from some supporters.
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
You can follow all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Center blog at Sky Sports’ digital platforms, as well as to follow all developments on Sky Sports News.