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Southgate may offer England recalls to Alexander-Arnold, Dunk and Mings



Southgate may offer England recalls to Alexander-Arnold, Dunk and Mings

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Tyrone Mings and Lewis Dunk are pushing for recalls when Gareth Southgate picks his England squad on Wednesday, and Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze is hoping for his first call-up after a sparkling end to the season.

Southgate, who is expected to bring Raheem Sterling back after the winger missed the last camp, has seen his plans for next month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia complicated by injuries and Manchester City and West Ham reaching European finals.

City’s progress to the Champions League final against Inter Milan on June 10th means their England contingent of John Stones, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips will be given permission to report late for international duty.

Declan Rice is in a similar position because West Ham face Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on June 7th. Stones, Walker, Foden, Grealish, Phillips and Rice may not be in a position to start away to Malta on June 16th.

Injury problems are set to rule out Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell, Mason Mount and Reece James, and Brentford’s Ivan Toney is serving an eight-month ban for a breach of English Football Association betting rules. However, Southgate, whose side opened the qualifying campaign by beating Italy and Ukraine, can still choose from a wide range of options.

Dunk, whose only previous cap came against USA in 2018, has enjoyed an excellent season with Brighton and the 31-year-old centre back could return after helping Roberto De Zerbi’s side qualify for Europe. Mings, who lost his England place last year, is also hoping for good news after impressing in central defence for Aston Villa. The Palace defender Marc Guéhi is another defender in contention.

England, who host North Macedonia on June 19th, could also find room for Alexander-Arnold. The defender missed the World Cup through injury and was not included in the last squad. But with James injured and Walker expected to be rested against Malta, a spot could be open at right back. Alexander-Arnold could also be used as a midfielder after impressing in a hybrid role for Liverpool.

Arsenal’s Ben White, who left the World Cup early, is not expecting to be picked and the Milan centre back Fikayo Tomoro is expected to miss out. Chilwell’s absence at left back could lead to a first call-up for Brentford’s Rico Henry.

Mount’s injury may make space for Eze in attacking midfield. The 24-year-old has been in fine form for Palace and only a serious Achilles injury stopped him from being named in England’s provisional squad for Euro 2020. England must fight off interest from Nigeria in Eze.

Southgate’s options in attack have been cut by Toney’s suspension. But Newcastle’s Callum Wilson and Villa’s Ollie Watkins have had strong seasons and could provide back-up for Harry Kane. Sterling has had a disappointing season at Chelsea but has overcome a hamstring problem and is confident of returning to the squad.

Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Levi Colwill, Jacob Ramsey and Morgan Gibbs-White are on Southgate’s radar but are likely to be named in the under-21 squad. – Guardian

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