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Euro 2024 Qualifying: Gareth Southgate announces squad for crucial qualifiers

Gareth Southgate has named his first England squad since the 2022 World Cup, with five members of that squad not included amongst the 25 players.

The biggest surprise perhaps is that Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold has been omitted, whilst there is also no place for fellow defenders Ben White and Conor Coady. 

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson also misses out following a poor run of form, whilst Raheem Sterling remains sidelined through injury.

WhatGroup C, Euro 2024 Qualifying
WhereItaly v England is at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Naples, Italy
WhenQualifying starts on Thursday 23rd March
How to watchChannel 4 & Viaplay Sports
OddsEngland 10/11, Italy 5/4, Ukraine 8/1, North Macedonia 66/1, Malta 2500/1

In-form forwards aiming to trouble Italy in tough opener 

England are 10/11 to top Group C in qualifying for Euro 2024 but Southgate's side cannot afford a slow start to their campaign as their first game is against Italy, who are 5/4 to top the section, in Naples.  

The Azzurri famously beat England on penalties in the final of Euro 2020 at Wembley and the Three Lions failed to score against them in two Nations League clashes last year, drawing 0-0 at home before a 1-0 defeat in Milan. 

England also face a tricky test in their second qualifier as they host Ukraine, who are 8/1 third-favourites in the group.  

Southgate will not be short of in-form attacking options with the likes of captain Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden at his disposal.

Saka was part of the England side who lost to France in the quarter-finals in Qatar and the 21-year-old has contributed 10 goals and nine assists to Arsenal's Premier League title charge. 

However, there is no room for Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins, who has scored in six of his last seven Premier League outings and has won seven England caps, notching against San Marino in 2021 and Ivory Coast last year.

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Southgate keeping faith with experienced defenders 

There are no surprises in the goalkeeping department as Southgate has called up his preferred trio of Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope and the England boss has opted for experience in defence too. 

Southgate has kept faith with Manchester United's Harry Maguire despite the fact that he has fallen behind Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane in the defensive pecking order at Old Trafford and John Stones, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Luke Shaw and Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace have also been selected.

Guehi, like Everton keeper Pickford, is involved in a relegation battle with his club but Palace's struggles are mainly down to their attacking woes and they have conceded only nine goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances – all but one of which came against teams in the top eight.

Maddison and Phillips hope to make impact in unchanged midfield 

England manager Southgate is known for his loyalty and he has picked the same seven midfielders who went to the World Cup: Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, James Maddison, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher. 

Borussia Dortmund youngster Bellingham scored England's opening goal of the World Cup campaign against Iran and was arguably their star performer in Qatar but some of his colleagues may well feel they have a point to prove. 

Liverpool's Henderson has had a tough domestic campaign, as have Mount and Gallagher at Chelsea, and Leicester playmaker Maddison failed to make an appearance at the World Cup despite some sparkling displays for the Foxes. 

Phillips, whose partnership with Rice was crucial to England's run to the final of Euro 2020, made the cut for Qatar despite playing only a couple of minutes of Premier League football for Manchester City due to injury. 

Opportunities have been limited for the former Leeds United man since the World Cup – his only two starts for City came in cup ties against Southampton and Bristol City – but he remains a Southgate favourite. 

After coming so close to landing the trophy at Euro 2020, England are 7/1 to win Euro 2024. 

Hosts Germany are 11/2 with France, who lost on penalties to Argentina in the World Cup final after knocking out the Three Lions, 11/2 and Spain 15/2

Italy, who failed to qualify for last year's World Cup, are 9/1 for a successful defence of their European crown. 

England squad

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal) 

Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City) 

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham) 

Forwards: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford)

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