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On the plane or still at home? Ranking each England player’s chances of making it to Qatar

The 2022/23 European seasons are in full swing and England are due to play two Nations League games in the coming days, giving Gareth Southgate plenty of time to asses his World Cup squad ahead of November.


England played out their first Nations League game of the break on Friday evening, losing 1-0 to Italy.

But who was grabbed that brass ring and who is failing to take their opportunity? 101 Great Goals have taken a look at every player who has a chance of making it to Qatar and ranked how close they are to being on the plane to Qatar using three categories.

The first is ‘On the plane’ which suggests said player is basically guaranteed to be in Qatar barring some sort of injury problem.

The next is ‘At St George’s Park’, which means the player is certainly in the mix to be taken to the 2022 World Cup, but nothing is nailed just yet.

And the final category is ‘Still at home’, which means that player is still a long way off being included in England’s World Cup squad.

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Goalkeepers

Jordan Pickford (On the plane)

Is missing the current break due to injury but Pickford is Southgate’s no.1 and nothing will change that so close to a major tournament.

Nick Pope (At St George’s Park)

Has impressed between the sticks for Newcastle this season but his distribution is not the best. He has a decent shot of being England’s third-choice this winter. Pope started vs Italy but was not great with the ball at his feet. He then put on a dismal showing vs Germany that cost England a goal.

Aaron Ramsdale (On the plane)

The man most likely to dethrone Pickford as England’s no.1 is Aaron Ramsdale. His on-the-ball work is superb and he is a good shot-stopper.

Dean Henderson (At home)

Henderson was included in the latest England squad due to Pickford’s injury but he seems unlikely to make it to Qatar after not even getting off the bench vs Germany and Italy.

Nottingham Forest have conceded a lot of goals this season, and whilst Henderson is not fully at fault, he has not covered himself in glory of late, especially vs Fulham.

Defenders

Conor Coady (At St George’s Park)

Coady has been performing well for Everton since his transfer from Wolves this past summer.

He is also a favourite of Southgate’s and is capable of operating in a back-three, which England play quite often.

Marc Guehi (At St George’s Park)

Guehi is once again in the latest England squad. He has continued to improve at Crystal Palace and has a decent shot of making it to Qatar if he can impress in the upcoming friendlies.

Eric Dier (On the plane)

Dier was once a favourite of Southgate’s and scored that crucial penalty in the last World Cup vs Colombia.

However, he was dropped by Southgate following poor form at Tottenham. But with Antonio Conte now at the helm, Dier is putting in some superb performances in a back-three for the Lilywhites. If he keeps up this form in the coming month, he will be going to Qatar.

Dier started vs Italy on Friday and looked ok, though he could have done more for their goal.

John Stones (One the plane)

Another favourite of Southgate’s, Stones is likely to be a starter for England at the World Cup.

The centre-back has largely eradicated the mistakes from his game and is arguably the Three Lions’ best on-the-ball centre-back.

Ben White (At home)

White, despite playing well for Arsenal, was left out of Southgate’s latest squad, suggesting he has no hope of making it to the World Cup.

Fikayo Tomori (At St George’s Park)

Tomori has been one of the most consistent centre-backs in the Serie A for the last year and has been named in the September squad.

However, he sees very little game time for England and will need to prove himself to Southgate this coming week.

Harry Maguire (On the plane)

Maguire’s game time has been seriously limited this season and when he does play, he looks devoid of confidence.

However, he is a Southgate favourite and generally performs well for England. Maguire was solid vs Italy, even if most of the team played poorly. His display vs Germany was questionable, but he will still be going to Qatar.

Kieran Trippier (On the Plane)

Trippier has been a star player for Newcastle since his arrival for Atletico Madrid, contributing well at both ends of the pitch.

He is also capable of playing in a back-five and has filled in at left-wing-back for England several times, suggesting he will almost certainly be in the squad.

Luke Shaw (On the plane)

Like Maguire, Shaw has been a bit-part player for Manchester United this season.

However, England do not have too many left-back options and Shaw had a superb Euro 2020, so is likely to be rewarded by Southgate.

Ben Chilwell (At St George’s Park)

There are many that would argue that Chilwell is a better left-back than Shaw. However, he to is seeing little action this season.

And at Euro 2020, Chilwell did not play a single minute for England, suggesting Southgate could opt to use Trippier and Shaw at left-back this winter.

Against Italy meanwhile, Chilwell was left on the bench with Bukayo Saka instead playing at LWB. Southgate clearly is not a fan.

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Kyle Walker (On the Plane)

Barring injury, Walker will be going to Qatar. He is still impressing for Man City, has been a Southgate favourite for some time and can play as a right centre-back in a three, adding some much-needed pace to a slow backline.

Reece James (On the Plane)

The man likely to replace Walker for England when he retires is Reece James. The two are very similar players, with James also able to play RCB.

James has been in solid form this season despite Chelsea’s struggles as well. He also got an assist vs Germany.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (At St George’s Park)

Southgate loves to select a lot of right-backs in every squad, which is the only real reason Alexander-Arnold has any chance of making it to Qatar.

Trent has been in woeful form this season, and starting him alongside Maguire or Stones would make England very weak defensively. For more insight into TAA’s decline in 2022/23, click here. He also did not see any action in the latest international break.

Midfielders

Jude Bellingham (On the plane)

Bellingham continues to impress week-in, week-out for Dortmund, proving himself as one of the finest box-to-box options in Europe.

He is also included in the September squad, and was superb vs Italy and Germany, breaking the lines with impressive runs.

Conor Gallagher (At home)

Gallagher has been devoid of confidence for Chelsea this season, turning in some truly woeful displays. He is also out of the latest England squad.

Declan Rice (On the plane)

Rice is England’s only real defensive midfield option and is sure to start every game this winter.

James Ward-Prowse (At St George’s Park)

Ward-Prowse has been named in the latest England team despite offering little more than his set-piece ability.

But with Kalvin Phillips injured/not playing and Gallagher out of the picture, he could still make it to Qatar.

Jordan Henderson (On the plane)

Henderson’s decline for Liverpool this season has been pretty spectacular. However, he is a leader in the England squad and is definitely going to Qatar, even if he doesn’t start many games.

Mason Mount (On the plane)

On form alone, Mason Mount should be nowhere near the England squad. He has failed to provide a single goal contribution in the Premier League this season. But again, Southgate is a fan and he is unlikely to be dropped before the tournament. Mount also scored vs Germany.

Kalvin Phillips (At St George’s Park)

Has impressed for England in the past, including at Euro 2020, but his injury issues and lack of playing time make him a doubt for Qatar.

Forwards

Bukayo Saka (On the Plane)

Saka has been in decent form for Arsenal this season, scoring one and assisting four in seven.

England also have a lack of natural right-wingers, which probably means his place is guaranteed. Saka provided an assist in England’s 3-3 draw with Germany.

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Jadon Sancho (At home)

Sancho has improved a great deal for Manchester United under Erik ten Hag.

However, he has been on the fringes with England for a while, and after not making the September squad, it seems unlikely Southgate will change his mind now.

Marcus Rashford (At St George’s Park)

Rashford fell out of favour with England following injury/form issues.

But he is now looking back to his best for United and has a decent chance of making it Qatar if he carries on his current form. He missed out on the September games due to injury.

Jack Grealish (On the plane)

Grealish has been fairly average for Manchester City of late, but his ability to hold up the ball or take on several players at once is something any manager would like to have.

Phil Foden (On the plane)

Foden is arguably the best wide option England currently have. He is not afraid to take on players and he was a big miss at the Euro 2020 final.

Raheem Sterling (On the plane)

Despite Chelsea’s poor start to the campaign, Sterling has scored four and assisted one in eight.

He is also a Southgate favourite and almost single-handedly got the Three Lions out of their Euro 2020 group when Kane was not scoring. Sterling is sure to be on the plane no matter what he does for the next month or so.

Ivan Toney (At home)

Toney has impressed for Brentford this season was handed a call-up for the September games. His spot on the plane likely depended on how well he performed vs Italy and Germany. However, he did not even make the squad against Italy on Friday and was an unused sub against Germany.

Tammy Abraham (At St George’s Park)

The man competing with Toney for a spot in Qatar is Abraham. He has not been in spectacular form for Roma so far this season, scoring two in seven, but he does have more international experience than the Brentford man.

Harry Kane (On the plane)

Likely to become England’s top scorer of all time soon, Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup, England’s top scorer at major tournaments – obviously Kane is going to Qatar.


Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.



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