Thursday, October 18

England

World Cup

Gareth Southgate happy with squad balance after naming travelling party

Gareth Southgate believes that England's 23-man squad for Russia 2018 is 'exciting' and has the right balance between youth and experience.

England boss Gareth Southgate has declared himself happy with his 23-man squad for this summer's World Cup finals in Russia.

Southgate did not name any wildcard options in his travelling party for the quadrennial tournament, meaning no room for Ryan Sessegnon or Jadon Sancho - two players reportedly in the manager's thinking.

The Three Lions' squad does include uncapped defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, however, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek - used just twice at senior level - has also been included.

Among the big-name absentees are Joe Hart, Jack Wilshere, Chris Smalling, Ryan Bertrand and Adam Lallana, the latter of whom has been included on the stand-by list, and Southgate has justified his decision to leave out some key men.

"I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about," he told the Football Association's official website. "It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.

"We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we've been looking to develop.

"The selection process has been over months really, it's not just been the last few weeks. We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum.

"The first call-up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it's not just because they are young, it's because their performances deserve it."

Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook and Jake Livermore have also been named on England's stand-by list.

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2Chelsea86201851320
3Liverpool86201531220
4Arsenal86021910918
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs8602157818
6Bournemouth85121612416
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves843196315
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
9Watford84131112-113
10Leicester CityLeicester84041412212
11Everton83321312112
12Burnley82241012-28
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224913-48
14Crystal Palace821559-47
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8215813-57
16Southampton8125614-85
17Fulham8125921-125
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield8035417-133
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8026613-72
20Cardiff CityCardiff8026417-132
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