With just one month to go until the start of the World Cup, which players are putting their hands up to try and get into England's final 26-man squad?
(This article was originally published on 20.10.2022)
Gareth Southgate will have to do without Kalvin Phillips and Emile Smith Rowe, who are on the sidelines with shoulder and groin injuries respectively.
Reece James is also expected to miss the tournament due to a knee issue, while Kyle Walker is a major doubt as he continues his recovery from groin surgery.
There is the possibility Southgate will have more selection dilemmas ahead of the tournament, given the fact domestic play continues until 13th November - three days after the England boss will have named his final 26-man squad.
Southgate has to confirm his preliminary squad by 21st November, a list that can include 55 players, but any individual that wants to make the World Cup have to make this cut, otherwise they will not have the chance to compete in Qatar.
While there will be some tough calls to make, there are certain players that are ramping up their performances as they aim to make a late charge for the national side for this novel winter World Cup.
|When:||20th November - 18th December 2022|
|How to watch:||All matches will be shown on either the BBC or ITV|
|Odds:||Brazil 4/1, France 6/1, Argentina 13/2, England 7/1, Spain 8/1, Germany 10/1|
England's issues at centre-back have been clear to see for the last year and barring John Stones, who has once again had fitness issues this season, none of the players in the last international squad did anything to suggest they should be starting.
Therefore, it seems hard to comprehend why Newcastle defender Dan Burn has not managed to find his way into the national team, given the fact he has looked very impressive since arriving at St James' Park in January this year.
Joining from Brighton, the 30-year-old played a huge role in helping the Magpies avoid relegation last season and he has taken that form into the current campaign as the north-east outfit continue to build.
At 6ft 6in, Burn is a towering presence at the back and he has also shown his versatility under Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, who has deployed the Blyth-born star at left-back on numerous occasions.
Burn has played in ten of the Magpies' 11 league games this term, making him a major part of a side that boast the meanest defence in the division - just nine goals conceded.
Right-back is an area of concern for Southgate with injuries to Walker and James and while Newcastle's Kieran Trippier is expected to get the starting nod, Arsenal's Ben White has been putting his name forward to fill this position.
Although more au fait in the heart of defence, the 25-year-old has covered on the right side before and he has been an ever-present in a Gunners side that sit top of the Premier League.
Mikel Arteta's side have conceded just ten times - the joint second-best record in the division - and it seems difficult to overlook a player that could solve the issues at centre-back and right-back.
Left-back is a position that has been up for grabs for quite some time and there is no reason why Crystal Palace's Tyrick Mitchell can't force his way into the reckoning.
The 23-year-old has earned two caps for his country but he was left out of England's squad for the Nations League matches in September, as Southgate favoured Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell.
Neither Shaw nor Chilwell have been pulling up any trees in the Premier League this season and if Mitchell can maintain his current level of form, there will be a big decision for the England boss to make when it comes to selection time.
Although blessed with several attacking options, England can sometimes struggle to create scoring opportunities and it seems strange that Leicester City's James Maddison hasn't added to his one cap from 2019.
The 25-year-old has been a rare positive in a dismal campaign for the Foxes, who sit bottom of the Premier League, with his creativity a big part in his side's tally of goals this term.
Maddison has that ability to unlock a defence and if the Three Lions are in need of inspiration during the World Cup, the midfielder could be an ideal candidate to bring on from the bench.
Rounding off the outside contenders for a spot in England's squad is Palace's Eberechi Eze, who has battled back from a serious injury and has further enhanced his game this season.
The 24-year-old glides across the turf so effortlessly and he grabbed his second league goal of the season in the 2-1 victory over Wolves last time out.
Eze's classy footwork, turn of pace and eye for goal would be a serious addition to the Three Lions, should he manage to make the cut.Safer Gambling Week (17-23 October) – Let’s talk about safer gambling. Click here for more information on independent resources. Gamble Responsibly.