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The Premier League midfielder is fully focused on France for now, with speculation linking him with a big-money transfer being ignored for now
Kante responds to PSG links as Chelsea exit talk mounts during World Cup duty
The Premier League midfielder is fully focused on France for now, with speculation linking him with a big-money transfer being ignored for now
Diffuseur de la Premier League et des coupes européennes de football à la rentrée, RMC Sport sera proposé dès le 3 juillet aux tarifs de 9 euros par mois pour les clients SFR et 19 euros par mois pour les non-abonnés.
Foot - Médias - RMC Sport dévoile ses tarifs
Diffuseur de la Premier League et des coupes européennes de football à la rentrée, RMC Sport sera proposé dès le 3 juillet aux tarifs de 9 euros par mois pour les clients SFR et 19 euros par mois pour les non-abonnés.
Nabil Fekir could join another Premier League side for £66m
Nabil Fekir could join another Premier League side for £66m
Nabil Fekir could join another Premier League side for £66m
Leicester City have made a £20 million bid for Norwich attacker James Maddison. The former Premier League champions tabled their offer for Maddison on Sunday, it is understood, and are hopeful of winning the chase for the highy-rated star. Everton and Southampton are also keen on the former England U21 international but Leicester have made a serious move with an offer to test Norwich’s resolve. Norwich want £25m after add-ons for Maddison, one of the most coveted players in the Championship. Last season the 21 year-old scored 14 goals and delivered eight assists. James Maddison (right) in action for Norwich Credit: getty images Leicester have been weighing up an official bid for weeks but have now made their move after learning of proposed offers from rival Premier League clubs. Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, has already signed Ricardo Pereira and Jonny Evans this summer and the club’s owners are prepared to spend big to revamp the squad. Now the east Midlanders are targeting Maddison and want a deal sorted with the Championship club over the next few days.
Exclusive: Leicester City make £20m bid for Norwich forward James Maddison
Leicester City have made a £20 million bid for Norwich attacker James Maddison. The former Premier League champions tabled their offer for Maddison on Sunday, it is understood, and are hopeful of winning the chase for the highy-rated star. Everton and Southampton are also keen on the former England U21 international but Leicester have made a serious move with an offer to test Norwich’s resolve. Norwich want £25m after add-ons for Maddison, one of the most coveted players in the Championship. Last season the 21 year-old scored 14 goals and delivered eight assists. James Maddison (right) in action for Norwich Credit: getty images Leicester have been weighing up an official bid for weeks but have now made their move after learning of proposed offers from rival Premier League clubs. Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, has already signed Ricardo Pereira and Jonny Evans this summer and the club’s owners are prepared to spend big to revamp the squad. Now the east Midlanders are targeting Maddison and want a deal sorted with the Championship club over the next few days.
Leicester City have made a £20 million bid for Norwich attacker James Maddison. The former Premier League champions tabled their offer for Maddison on Sunday, it is understood, and are hopeful of winning the chase for the highy-rated star. Everton and Southampton are also keen on the former England U21 international but Leicester have made a serious move with an offer to test Norwich’s resolve. Norwich want £25m after add-ons for Maddison, one of the most coveted players in the Championship. Last season the 21 year-old scored 14 goals and delivered eight assists. James Maddison (right) in action for Norwich Credit: getty images Leicester have been weighing up an official bid for weeks but have now made their move after learning of proposed offers from rival Premier League clubs. Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, has already signed Ricardo Pereira and Jonny Evans this summer and the club’s owners are prepared to spend big to revamp the squad. Now the east Midlanders are targeting Maddison and want a deal sorted with the Championship club over the next few days.
Exclusive: Leicester City make £20m bid for Norwich forward James Maddison
Leicester City have made a £20 million bid for Norwich attacker James Maddison. The former Premier League champions tabled their offer for Maddison on Sunday, it is understood, and are hopeful of winning the chase for the highy-rated star. Everton and Southampton are also keen on the former England U21 international but Leicester have made a serious move with an offer to test Norwich’s resolve. Norwich want £25m after add-ons for Maddison, one of the most coveted players in the Championship. Last season the 21 year-old scored 14 goals and delivered eight assists. James Maddison (right) in action for Norwich Credit: getty images Leicester have been weighing up an official bid for weeks but have now made their move after learning of proposed offers from rival Premier League clubs. Claude Puel, the Leicester manager, has already signed Ricardo Pereira and Jonny Evans this summer and the club’s owners are prepared to spend big to revamp the squad. Now the east Midlanders are targeting Maddison and want a deal sorted with the Championship club over the next few days.
Liverpool have agreed a ­professional contract with their teenage sensation Rhian Brewster, ending fears the England youth ­international could quit Anfield. Manager Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards have been in constant negotiations with Brewster and his representative to secure the 18-year-old on what is understood to be a five-year contract, retaining him until 2023. The striker’s burning ambition had opened up the possibility of him moving elsewhere where he may have been guaranteed a more rapid promotion to first-team football. But Klopp and Edwards sought to reassure him the pathway to the Liverpool starting line-up was there should potential be fulfilled. Brewster will be part of the ­senior squad when they return to pre-season training and, after a breakthrough in talks, he will put pen to paper on the long-term ­contract in the coming days. For all the business Liverpool have done and may yet do this ­summer, tying down Brewster may prove one of the most significant should he take his exceptional form at youth level onto the senior stage. Liverpool feared losing Rhian Brewster (left) to Germany Credit: getty images He was the star of last season’s Under-17 World Cup, winning the Golden Boot, as England were crowned champions. He is ­regarded as one of the most exciting players of his age in world football. Liverpool were genuinely concerned about losing Brewster at one point at the end of last season – he has been on a scholarship deal, despite being eligible for a ­professional contract since turning18 in April. Clubs in Germany ­circled offering a direct route to top-level football in the Bundesliga. The club went so far as to threaten Borussia Monchengladbach with a report to Fifa for an ­illegal approach, and relations were soured to the extent of a pre-season friendly between the clubs being cancelled. Now Brewster can expect to make his senior debut in a ­Liverpool jersey in the very near future. Brewster may have featured in the Premier League already, but for an ankle injury towards the end of last season. That may curtail how soon he can start pre-season with the rest of the squad, but he is ­expected to be fit to tour the United States next month. The determination and influence of Klopp and Edwards in convincing Brewster to remain cannot be underestimated, especially as there has been a growing trend of ­exciting England youth players moving to Germany. Rhian Brewster won the U17 World Cup with England Credit: reuters Liverpool were in a strong position to argue there is no elite manager in the Premier League more determined to give his academy players a chance. Klopp has demonstrated throughout his career his preference is to coach and develop those players he values at his club, before looking elsewhere. The opportunity will be there for Brewster to prove he can challenge the lauded Liverpool front three prior to establishing a starting place as his career develops. At the end of last season, Klopp asked Brewster to attend the Football Writers’ Association player of the year dinner alongside Mohamed Salah, so a tribute could be paid to the youngster for publicly expressing his despair with Uefa and Fifa’s lame efforts to combat on-field racist abuse. Brewster said he was targeted for both club and country, but insufficient evidence meant no action was taken against those he accused. “Rhain spoke about racism in modern football with the same power, command and composure that he shows when playing,” said Klopp. This was another sign of how much the Liverpool manager valued the character of the starlet as much as the talent and will surely have helped convince him he is at the right club at this stage of his career.
Liverpool agree professional contract with Rhian Brewster to end fears he could be lured to Germany
Liverpool have agreed a ­professional contract with their teenage sensation Rhian Brewster, ending fears the England youth ­international could quit Anfield. Manager Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards have been in constant negotiations with Brewster and his representative to secure the 18-year-old on what is understood to be a five-year contract, retaining him until 2023. The striker’s burning ambition had opened up the possibility of him moving elsewhere where he may have been guaranteed a more rapid promotion to first-team football. But Klopp and Edwards sought to reassure him the pathway to the Liverpool starting line-up was there should potential be fulfilled. Brewster will be part of the ­senior squad when they return to pre-season training and, after a breakthrough in talks, he will put pen to paper on the long-term ­contract in the coming days. For all the business Liverpool have done and may yet do this ­summer, tying down Brewster may prove one of the most significant should he take his exceptional form at youth level onto the senior stage. Liverpool feared losing Rhian Brewster (left) to Germany Credit: getty images He was the star of last season’s Under-17 World Cup, winning the Golden Boot, as England were crowned champions. He is ­regarded as one of the most exciting players of his age in world football. Liverpool were genuinely concerned about losing Brewster at one point at the end of last season – he has been on a scholarship deal, despite being eligible for a ­professional contract since turning18 in April. Clubs in Germany ­circled offering a direct route to top-level football in the Bundesliga. The club went so far as to threaten Borussia Monchengladbach with a report to Fifa for an ­illegal approach, and relations were soured to the extent of a pre-season friendly between the clubs being cancelled. Now Brewster can expect to make his senior debut in a ­Liverpool jersey in the very near future. Brewster may have featured in the Premier League already, but for an ankle injury towards the end of last season. That may curtail how soon he can start pre-season with the rest of the squad, but he is ­expected to be fit to tour the United States next month. The determination and influence of Klopp and Edwards in convincing Brewster to remain cannot be underestimated, especially as there has been a growing trend of ­exciting England youth players moving to Germany. Rhian Brewster won the U17 World Cup with England Credit: reuters Liverpool were in a strong position to argue there is no elite manager in the Premier League more determined to give his academy players a chance. Klopp has demonstrated throughout his career his preference is to coach and develop those players he values at his club, before looking elsewhere. The opportunity will be there for Brewster to prove he can challenge the lauded Liverpool front three prior to establishing a starting place as his career develops. At the end of last season, Klopp asked Brewster to attend the Football Writers’ Association player of the year dinner alongside Mohamed Salah, so a tribute could be paid to the youngster for publicly expressing his despair with Uefa and Fifa’s lame efforts to combat on-field racist abuse. Brewster said he was targeted for both club and country, but insufficient evidence meant no action was taken against those he accused. “Rhain spoke about racism in modern football with the same power, command and composure that he shows when playing,” said Klopp. This was another sign of how much the Liverpool manager valued the character of the starlet as much as the talent and will surely have helped convince him he is at the right club at this stage of his career.
Liverpool have agreed a ­professional contract with their teenage sensation Rhian Brewster, ending fears the England youth ­international could quit Anfield. Manager Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards have been in constant negotiations with Brewster and his representative to secure the 18-year-old on what is understood to be a five-year contract, retaining him until 2023. The striker’s burning ambition had opened up the possibility of him moving elsewhere where he may have been guaranteed a more rapid promotion to first-team football. But Klopp and Edwards sought to reassure him the pathway to the Liverpool starting line-up was there should potential be fulfilled. Brewster will be part of the ­senior squad when they return to pre-season training and, after a breakthrough in talks, he will put pen to paper on the long-term ­contract in the coming days. For all the business Liverpool have done and may yet do this ­summer, tying down Brewster may prove one of the most significant should he take his exceptional form at youth level onto the senior stage. Liverpool feared losing Rhian Brewster (left) to Germany Credit: getty images He was the star of last season’s Under-17 World Cup, winning the Golden Boot, as England were crowned champions. He is ­regarded as one of the most exciting players of his age in world football. Liverpool were genuinely concerned about losing Brewster at one point at the end of last season – he has been on a scholarship deal, despite being eligible for a ­professional contract since turning18 in April. Clubs in Germany ­circled offering a direct route to top-level football in the Bundesliga. The club went so far as to threaten Borussia Monchengladbach with a report to Fifa for an ­illegal approach, and relations were soured to the extent of a pre-season friendly between the clubs being cancelled. Now Brewster can expect to make his senior debut in a ­Liverpool jersey in the very near future. Brewster may have featured in the Premier League already, but for an ankle injury towards the end of last season. That may curtail how soon he can start pre-season with the rest of the squad, but he is ­expected to be fit to tour the United States next month. The determination and influence of Klopp and Edwards in convincing Brewster to remain cannot be underestimated, especially as there has been a growing trend of ­exciting England youth players moving to Germany. Rhian Brewster won the U17 World Cup with England Credit: reuters Liverpool were in a strong position to argue there is no elite manager in the Premier League more determined to give his academy players a chance. Klopp has demonstrated throughout his career his preference is to coach and develop those players he values at his club, before looking elsewhere. The opportunity will be there for Brewster to prove he can challenge the lauded Liverpool front three prior to establishing a starting place as his career develops. At the end of last season, Klopp asked Brewster to attend the Football Writers’ Association player of the year dinner alongside Mohamed Salah, so a tribute could be paid to the youngster for publicly expressing his despair with Uefa and Fifa’s lame efforts to combat on-field racist abuse. Brewster said he was targeted for both club and country, but insufficient evidence meant no action was taken against those he accused. “Rhain spoke about racism in modern football with the same power, command and composure that he shows when playing,” said Klopp. This was another sign of how much the Liverpool manager valued the character of the starlet as much as the talent and will surely have helped convince him he is at the right club at this stage of his career.
Liverpool agree professional contract with Rhian Brewster to end fears he could be lured to Germany
Liverpool have agreed a ­professional contract with their teenage sensation Rhian Brewster, ending fears the England youth ­international could quit Anfield. Manager Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards have been in constant negotiations with Brewster and his representative to secure the 18-year-old on what is understood to be a five-year contract, retaining him until 2023. The striker’s burning ambition had opened up the possibility of him moving elsewhere where he may have been guaranteed a more rapid promotion to first-team football. But Klopp and Edwards sought to reassure him the pathway to the Liverpool starting line-up was there should potential be fulfilled. Brewster will be part of the ­senior squad when they return to pre-season training and, after a breakthrough in talks, he will put pen to paper on the long-term ­contract in the coming days. For all the business Liverpool have done and may yet do this ­summer, tying down Brewster may prove one of the most significant should he take his exceptional form at youth level onto the senior stage. Liverpool feared losing Rhian Brewster (left) to Germany Credit: getty images He was the star of last season’s Under-17 World Cup, winning the Golden Boot, as England were crowned champions. He is ­regarded as one of the most exciting players of his age in world football. Liverpool were genuinely concerned about losing Brewster at one point at the end of last season – he has been on a scholarship deal, despite being eligible for a ­professional contract since turning18 in April. Clubs in Germany ­circled offering a direct route to top-level football in the Bundesliga. The club went so far as to threaten Borussia Monchengladbach with a report to Fifa for an ­illegal approach, and relations were soured to the extent of a pre-season friendly between the clubs being cancelled. Now Brewster can expect to make his senior debut in a ­Liverpool jersey in the very near future. Brewster may have featured in the Premier League already, but for an ankle injury towards the end of last season. That may curtail how soon he can start pre-season with the rest of the squad, but he is ­expected to be fit to tour the United States next month. The determination and influence of Klopp and Edwards in convincing Brewster to remain cannot be underestimated, especially as there has been a growing trend of ­exciting England youth players moving to Germany. Rhian Brewster won the U17 World Cup with England Credit: reuters Liverpool were in a strong position to argue there is no elite manager in the Premier League more determined to give his academy players a chance. Klopp has demonstrated throughout his career his preference is to coach and develop those players he values at his club, before looking elsewhere. The opportunity will be there for Brewster to prove he can challenge the lauded Liverpool front three prior to establishing a starting place as his career develops. At the end of last season, Klopp asked Brewster to attend the Football Writers’ Association player of the year dinner alongside Mohamed Salah, so a tribute could be paid to the youngster for publicly expressing his despair with Uefa and Fifa’s lame efforts to combat on-field racist abuse. Brewster said he was targeted for both club and country, but insufficient evidence meant no action was taken against those he accused. “Rhain spoke about racism in modern football with the same power, command and composure that he shows when playing,” said Klopp. This was another sign of how much the Liverpool manager valued the character of the starlet as much as the talent and will surely have helped convince him he is at the right club at this stage of his career.
Liverpool have agreed a ­professional contract with their teenage sensation Rhian Brewster, ending fears the England youth ­international could quit Anfield. Manager Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards have been in constant negotiations with Brewster and his representative to secure the 18-year-old on what is understood to be a five-year contract, retaining him until 2023. The striker’s burning ambition had opened up the possibility of him moving elsewhere where he may have been guaranteed a more rapid promotion to first-team football. But Klopp and Edwards sought to reassure him the pathway to the Liverpool starting line-up was there should potential be fulfilled. Brewster will be part of the ­senior squad when they return to pre-season training and, after a breakthrough in talks, he will put pen to paper on the long-term ­contract in the coming days. For all the business Liverpool have done and may yet do this ­summer, tying down Brewster may prove one of the most significant should he take his exceptional form at youth level onto the senior stage. Liverpool feared losing Rhian Brewster (left) to Germany Credit: getty images He was the star of last season’s Under-17 World Cup, winning the Golden Boot, as England were crowned champions. He is ­regarded as one of the most exciting players of his age in world football. Liverpool were genuinely concerned about losing Brewster at one point at the end of last season – he has been on a scholarship deal, despite being eligible for a ­professional contract since turning18 in April. Clubs in Germany ­circled offering a direct route to top-level football in the Bundesliga. The club went so far as to threaten Borussia Monchengladbach with a report to Fifa for an ­illegal approach, and relations were soured to the extent of a pre-season friendly between the clubs being cancelled. Now Brewster can expect to make his senior debut in a ­Liverpool jersey in the very near future. Brewster may have featured in the Premier League already, but for an ankle injury towards the end of last season. That may curtail how soon he can start pre-season with the rest of the squad, but he is ­expected to be fit to tour the United States next month. The determination and influence of Klopp and Edwards in convincing Brewster to remain cannot be underestimated, especially as there has been a growing trend of ­exciting England youth players moving to Germany. Rhian Brewster won the U17 World Cup with England Credit: reuters Liverpool were in a strong position to argue there is no elite manager in the Premier League more determined to give his academy players a chance. Klopp has demonstrated throughout his career his preference is to coach and develop those players he values at his club, before looking elsewhere. The opportunity will be there for Brewster to prove he can challenge the lauded Liverpool front three prior to establishing a starting place as his career develops. At the end of last season, Klopp asked Brewster to attend the Football Writers’ Association player of the year dinner alongside Mohamed Salah, so a tribute could be paid to the youngster for publicly expressing his despair with Uefa and Fifa’s lame efforts to combat on-field racist abuse. Brewster said he was targeted for both club and country, but insufficient evidence meant no action was taken against those he accused. “Rhain spoke about racism in modern football with the same power, command and composure that he shows when playing,” said Klopp. This was another sign of how much the Liverpool manager valued the character of the starlet as much as the talent and will surely have helped convince him he is at the right club at this stage of his career.
Liverpool agree professional contract with Rhian Brewster to end fears he could be lured to Germany
Liverpool have agreed a ­professional contract with their teenage sensation Rhian Brewster, ending fears the England youth ­international could quit Anfield. Manager Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards have been in constant negotiations with Brewster and his representative to secure the 18-year-old on what is understood to be a five-year contract, retaining him until 2023. The striker’s burning ambition had opened up the possibility of him moving elsewhere where he may have been guaranteed a more rapid promotion to first-team football. But Klopp and Edwards sought to reassure him the pathway to the Liverpool starting line-up was there should potential be fulfilled. Brewster will be part of the ­senior squad when they return to pre-season training and, after a breakthrough in talks, he will put pen to paper on the long-term ­contract in the coming days. For all the business Liverpool have done and may yet do this ­summer, tying down Brewster may prove one of the most significant should he take his exceptional form at youth level onto the senior stage. Liverpool feared losing Rhian Brewster (left) to Germany Credit: getty images He was the star of last season’s Under-17 World Cup, winning the Golden Boot, as England were crowned champions. He is ­regarded as one of the most exciting players of his age in world football. Liverpool were genuinely concerned about losing Brewster at one point at the end of last season – he has been on a scholarship deal, despite being eligible for a ­professional contract since turning18 in April. Clubs in Germany ­circled offering a direct route to top-level football in the Bundesliga. The club went so far as to threaten Borussia Monchengladbach with a report to Fifa for an ­illegal approach, and relations were soured to the extent of a pre-season friendly between the clubs being cancelled. Now Brewster can expect to make his senior debut in a ­Liverpool jersey in the very near future. Brewster may have featured in the Premier League already, but for an ankle injury towards the end of last season. That may curtail how soon he can start pre-season with the rest of the squad, but he is ­expected to be fit to tour the United States next month. The determination and influence of Klopp and Edwards in convincing Brewster to remain cannot be underestimated, especially as there has been a growing trend of ­exciting England youth players moving to Germany. Rhian Brewster won the U17 World Cup with England Credit: reuters Liverpool were in a strong position to argue there is no elite manager in the Premier League more determined to give his academy players a chance. Klopp has demonstrated throughout his career his preference is to coach and develop those players he values at his club, before looking elsewhere. The opportunity will be there for Brewster to prove he can challenge the lauded Liverpool front three prior to establishing a starting place as his career develops. At the end of last season, Klopp asked Brewster to attend the Football Writers’ Association player of the year dinner alongside Mohamed Salah, so a tribute could be paid to the youngster for publicly expressing his despair with Uefa and Fifa’s lame efforts to combat on-field racist abuse. Brewster said he was targeted for both club and country, but insufficient evidence meant no action was taken against those he accused. “Rhain spoke about racism in modern football with the same power, command and composure that he shows when playing,” said Klopp. This was another sign of how much the Liverpool manager valued the character of the starlet as much as the talent and will surely have helped convince him he is at the right club at this stage of his career.
Fabian Delph believes the competitve nature of the Premier League gives England the opportunity to go into fifth gear if needed like Germany and Brazil.
England have a fifth gear like Germany and Brazil - Delph
Fabian Delph believes the competitve nature of the Premier League gives England the opportunity to go into fifth gear if needed like Germany and Brazil.
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Tunisia take risks...similiar to Manchester City - Delph
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Tunisia take risks...similiar to Manchester City - Delph
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Tunisia take risks...similiar to Manchester City - Delph
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Tunisia take risks...similiar to Manchester City - Delph
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Fabian Delph believes the competitve nature of the Premier League gives England the opportunity to go into fifth gear if needed like Germany and Brazil.
England have a fifth gear like Germany and Brazil - Delph
Fabian Delph believes the competitve nature of the Premier League gives England the opportunity to go into fifth gear if needed like Germany and Brazil.
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Tunisia take risks...similiar to Manchester City - Delph
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Fabian Delph believes the competitve nature of the Premier League gives England the opportunity to go into fifth gear if needed like Germany and Brazil.
England have a fifth gear like Germany and Brazil - Delph
Fabian Delph believes the competitve nature of the Premier League gives England the opportunity to go into fifth gear if needed like Germany and Brazil.
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Tunisia take risks...similiar to Manchester City - Delph
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Mexico World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Mexico World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Some big moves are set to take place this summer in the Premier League.
Some big moves are set to take place this summer in the Premier League.
Some big moves are set to take place this summer in the Premier League.
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 groups: games, tables, current standings and analysis
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 groups: games, tables, current standings and analysis
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 groups: games, tables, current standings and analysis
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and beyond
Transfer news & rumours LIVE: Man Utd set £75m Martial price
Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and beyond
Fabian Delph is prepared to pull out of World Cup matches to attend the birth of his third child. With his wife, Natalie, due to go into labour soon the England midfielder said that he had already discussed the matter with manager Gareth Southgate and would go back home, if necessary, even if he is selected for the starting XI. “I don’t think it will affect me mentally. It will affect me, obviously, because I’ll have to get back to England and then come back again,” Delph said. “That’s obviously not ideal, but it’s part of life. I’m about to have my third child and I’m not going to miss it if I can help it. But I want to get back as fast as I can. We’ll have to see.” Delph’s wife is due to give birth on June 30, two days after England play their final group game against Belgium in Kaliningrad and the 28-year-old said he had already made provisional travel plans with the Football Association and would hire a private jet, if necessary. “Gareth understands how important family is to me, and he’s the same as well. We’ve spoken about it a lot. He was away at an England camp and had to fly back to be at the birth of his child, getting there 10 minutes before, apparently. Hopefully I can do the same,” Delph added. “I’ve spoken to the guys at the FA and asked them to get me a private plane with lots of champagne on it… No, the guys have worked well with me. They’re going to sort a plane for me to get back as fast as possible.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage Asked whether he was resigned to the fact that he might miss matches, Delph said: “Yes, absolutely. We’ve got a fantastic squad, great players, and if I am selected to play and I have to make my way back to see my family, there are players more than capable of doing the job I can do, if not a lot better. I’m comfortable with that decision.” Delph is not expected to be in the England team for Monday’s opening Group G fixture against Tunisia in Volgograd but warned against the dangers posed by the North Africans - who he even likened to his club side, Manchester City, in their desire to play positive football. "They're a good team,” he said. "They take risks, they like to play football. I want to say similar to how Manchester City play. They bring their centre-backs all the way, the full-back play wide and they try to play but from the back. They do give the ball away sometimes, but they stick to what they know and what they are working on and they try to play football. World Cup winners “We won’t be able to roll them over. I likened them to Manchester City in terms of how they like to try and play football, moving the ball around fast. They’re an in-form team. They are very confident, very comfortable on the ball.” Delph is, personally, brimming with confidence after his Premier League-title winning campaign at City after a season which started with him possibly not being in Pep Guardiola’s plans and linked to a move to Stoke City. "From a very young age I've been guided in a way where hard work beats talent. It's the way I've always been, the way I'll continue to be,” Delph said. "Pep has seen that in me. There are obviously more talented players than me at Manchester City, but my work ethic is probably… better than theirs, maybe. Pep likes that and he's been great with me.”
Fabian Delph prepared to return to England from World Cup if wife goes into labour
Fabian Delph is prepared to pull out of World Cup matches to attend the birth of his third child. With his wife, Natalie, due to go into labour soon the England midfielder said that he had already discussed the matter with manager Gareth Southgate and would go back home, if necessary, even if he is selected for the starting XI. “I don’t think it will affect me mentally. It will affect me, obviously, because I’ll have to get back to England and then come back again,” Delph said. “That’s obviously not ideal, but it’s part of life. I’m about to have my third child and I’m not going to miss it if I can help it. But I want to get back as fast as I can. We’ll have to see.” Delph’s wife is due to give birth on June 30, two days after England play their final group game against Belgium in Kaliningrad and the 28-year-old said he had already made provisional travel plans with the Football Association and would hire a private jet, if necessary. “Gareth understands how important family is to me, and he’s the same as well. We’ve spoken about it a lot. He was away at an England camp and had to fly back to be at the birth of his child, getting there 10 minutes before, apparently. Hopefully I can do the same,” Delph added. “I’ve spoken to the guys at the FA and asked them to get me a private plane with lots of champagne on it… No, the guys have worked well with me. They’re going to sort a plane for me to get back as fast as possible.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage Asked whether he was resigned to the fact that he might miss matches, Delph said: “Yes, absolutely. We’ve got a fantastic squad, great players, and if I am selected to play and I have to make my way back to see my family, there are players more than capable of doing the job I can do, if not a lot better. I’m comfortable with that decision.” Delph is not expected to be in the England team for Monday’s opening Group G fixture against Tunisia in Volgograd but warned against the dangers posed by the North Africans - who he even likened to his club side, Manchester City, in their desire to play positive football. "They're a good team,” he said. "They take risks, they like to play football. I want to say similar to how Manchester City play. They bring their centre-backs all the way, the full-back play wide and they try to play but from the back. They do give the ball away sometimes, but they stick to what they know and what they are working on and they try to play football. World Cup winners “We won’t be able to roll them over. I likened them to Manchester City in terms of how they like to try and play football, moving the ball around fast. They’re an in-form team. They are very confident, very comfortable on the ball.” Delph is, personally, brimming with confidence after his Premier League-title winning campaign at City after a season which started with him possibly not being in Pep Guardiola’s plans and linked to a move to Stoke City. "From a very young age I've been guided in a way where hard work beats talent. It's the way I've always been, the way I'll continue to be,” Delph said. "Pep has seen that in me. There are obviously more talented players than me at Manchester City, but my work ethic is probably… better than theirs, maybe. Pep likes that and he's been great with me.”
England are not in my four or five favourites to win the World Cup, but in Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling they have two players who can make a big impact and help the team to have a good tournament. Kane is a fantastic player, a fantastic striker. He has got everything and he needs to show that in this World Cup. It’s not the same to do it in the Premier League, which is good. But this is the real big stage when every single person in the world is watching. He is the captain as well and I’m sure he can do it. Sterling had a great season, he has fantastic qualities. People say he does not score enough goals, but still what he offers the team going in behind, running, he gives something to the team that I think will be very, very important. I can see the influence Pep Guardiola has had on him. He’s so fast, he has pace, but I think Pep, tactically, made him much better. From what I see when we play against him, he has got the qualities to go in behind and attack the lines because he is so fast. He did not used to do it, but Pep has put it in his mind that ‘listen, you are the player who can score 20, 25 goals a season easily. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage 'You need to make runs behind and get into the box’. When he takes you on one against one, you have no chance and England need to take advantage of this. He can deliver. In case people are wondering, apart from Spain, the other teams I think that can win the World Cup are Germany, Brazil, France and Argentina - because of Lionel Messi. He is that good. World Cup whatsapp promo
England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage
England are not in my four or five favourites to win the World Cup, but in Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling they have two players who can make a big impact and help the team to have a good tournament. Kane is a fantastic player, a fantastic striker. He has got everything and he needs to show that in this World Cup. It’s not the same to do it in the Premier League, which is good. But this is the real big stage when every single person in the world is watching. He is the captain as well and I’m sure he can do it. Sterling had a great season, he has fantastic qualities. People say he does not score enough goals, but still what he offers the team going in behind, running, he gives something to the team that I think will be very, very important. I can see the influence Pep Guardiola has had on him. He’s so fast, he has pace, but I think Pep, tactically, made him much better. From what I see when we play against him, he has got the qualities to go in behind and attack the lines because he is so fast. He did not used to do it, but Pep has put it in his mind that ‘listen, you are the player who can score 20, 25 goals a season easily. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage 'You need to make runs behind and get into the box’. When he takes you on one against one, you have no chance and England need to take advantage of this. He can deliver. In case people are wondering, apart from Spain, the other teams I think that can win the World Cup are Germany, Brazil, France and Argentina - because of Lionel Messi. He is that good. World Cup whatsapp promo
World Cup 2018 scouting report: Can Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen secure dream Premier League move?
World Cup 2018 scouting report: Can Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen secure dream Premier League move?
World Cup 2018 scouting report: Can Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen secure dream Premier League move?
World Cup 2018 scouting report: Can Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen secure dream Premier League move?
World Cup 2018 scouting report: Can Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen secure dream Premier League move?
World Cup 2018 scouting report: Can Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen secure dream Premier League move?
World Cup 2018 scouting report: Can Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen secure dream Premier League move?
World Cup 2018 scouting report: Can Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen secure dream Premier League move?
World Cup 2018 scouting report: Can Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen secure dream Premier League move?
The Manchester City playmaker has jokingly suggested that the Premier League champions need to bring in some fellow countrymen this summer
'I don't even care if they're good or not!' - Bernardo Silva urges Guardiola to sign Portuguese support
The Manchester City playmaker has jokingly suggested that the Premier League champions need to bring in some fellow countrymen this summer
Fabian Delph believes the competitve nature of the Premier League gives England the opportunity to go into fifth gear if needed like Germany and Brazil.
England have a fifth gear like Germany and Brazil - Delph
Fabian Delph believes the competitve nature of the Premier League gives England the opportunity to go into fifth gear if needed like Germany and Brazil.
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Tunisia take risks...similiar to Manchester City - Delph
Tunisia's style of football is similiar to Premier League champions Manchester City according to England's Fabian Delph.
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Mexico World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Mexico World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Some big moves are set to take place this summer in the Premier League.
Some big moves are set to take place this summer in the Premier League.
Some big moves are set to take place this summer in the Premier League.
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? Costa Rica and Serbia both begin their World Cup 2018 campaign in the opening game in Group E. When is it? Sunday, June 17. What time is kick-off? 1pm in the afternoon. What TV channel is it on? The match is being shown live on ITV 1, meaning you will get to enjoy the insight and analysis from the likes of Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? The Samara Arena, home to Krylia Sovetov, will be the venue for this Group E clash. World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena What is the team news? Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic during Serbia training earlier this week Credit: AFP Serbia's starting XI should feature a number of recognisable faces, with a host of Premier League players in line to start. Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic are both set to feature in midfield. Aleksandar Mitrovic, who won promotion with Fulham while on loan last season, will lead the line for the Serbians. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Ex-Premier League full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov could play at right-back and left-back respectively. £70m-rated Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will partner Matic in the middle of the park. Costa Rica will have Real Madrid's three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas between the sticks. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz will lead Costa Rica's attack. What's the latest news on the two teams? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United Credit: Reuters Serbia will be relying heavily on youth this summer as their Under 20 World Cup-winning players come to the fore for the senior team. Seven of the 2015 World Cup winners have been included in the 27-man preliminary squad for this summer, a good return three years on, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who has been heavily linked to Manchester United. Serbia took the unusual step of sacking head coach Slavoljub Muslin because of poor performances. His assistant Mladen Krstajic will now lead the team in Russia. Keylor Navas missed Costa Rica training on Thursday but should be fit for Sunday's match Credit: getty Images Costa Rica were given a World Cup send-off to forget last week in a 4-1 warm-up defeat to Belgium. Former Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring in the game but his volley proved to be the one plus for Costa Rica who conceded four goals without reply, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace. Costa Rican fans were given a scare on Thursday afternoon as star goalkeeper Keylor Navas missed training. However Costa Rica head coach Óscar Ramírez assured journalists his absence was purely precautionary. What are the odds? Costa Rica win 7/2 Serbia win 10/11 Draw 9/4 What's our prediction? Costa Rice, fresh off the back of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Belgium, could be in for another pasting against a talented Serbia side. Prediction: Costa Rica 0-2 Serbia WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
World Cup 2018 is with us at last and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “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. “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.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “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. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 groups: games, tables, current standings and analysis
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 groups: games, tables, current standings and analysis
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The 2018 Fifa World Cup features eight groups of four teams in its first stage. Let's have a look at who will be facing who. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they will be in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia BRAZIL The gloom that engulfed Brazil after the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the 2014 World Cup has lifted. Brazil were the first team to clinch qualification for Russia and had memorable wins on the way, including a 3-0 success over Argentina in the same Mineirao stadium of the 2014 semi-final humiliation. It took the appointment of Tite in September 2016 to revive Brazil. Under his helm, there have been 13 wins, three draws and only one loss - in a friendly against Argentina. Key player: Neymar (Paris St-Germain) - Should be at the peak of his game aged 26 in Russia, the forward will have his best chance to overthrow Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if Brazil win. Coach: Adenor Bacchi - Universally known as Tite, he turned Brazil from flops to favourites. Forget Dunga's muscular 2014 World Cup team that depended heavily on Neymar, Brazil are now about organisation and flair. SWITZERLAND Now is the time for Switzerland to be more than the sum of its talented parts. The quarter-finals are a realistic goal. Don't call it a golden generation, but the Swiss have a core of players from the 2009 Under-17 world champion team and a depth of tournament experience. However, those World Cup and European Championship adventures ended, at best, in the round of 16. Switzerland last won a World Cup knockout game in 1954, and that was just in a group play-off as host nation. Critics can pick holes in how the Swiss qualified: Nine straight wins in a weak group, and a play-off against Northern Ireland decided by a dubious penalty call. A well-balanced team has seemed to need a high-class central defender and reliable scorer. In Basel's Manuel Akanji, it might have found that defender. Key player: Valon Behrami (Udinese) - Going to his fourth straight World Cup in the elder statesman role for a young squad, speaking all of Switzerland's three main languages. His absence weighed heavily in the group-deciding loss at Portugal. Coach: Vladimir Petkovic - The unheralded Bosnian coach now seems to have grown into the role three years after succeeding two-time Champions League winner Ottmar Hitzfeld. COSTA RICA The tiny Central American country reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years ago, losing to the Netherlands on a penalty shootout. This will be Costa Rica's fifth World Cup appearance, impressive for a country with a population just under 5 million. Bryan Ruiz is the main attacking threat, while Celso Borges of is a midfield linchpin. Still, November friendlies were hardly encouraging, with a 5-0 thrashing by Spain and a 1-0 loss to Hungary. Key player: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) - Probably the best-known player in the squad, the goalkeeper's strong showing in Brazil secured a move to Madrid in 2014. Coach: Oscar Ramirez - Former midfielder took over after Paulo Wanchope resigned after a post-match fight. SERBIA Serbia cruised through their qualifying group to return to the World Cup finals after eight years, the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006. The skillful squad scored the most goals - 20 - in the group, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the leading scorer with six goals, leaving behind Ireland, Wales and Austria. Slavoljub Muslin was removed as coach despite the successful qualifying campaign. Mladen Krstajic took over in a caretaker capacity before being given the job until the end of the World Cup. Key player: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg) - Defensive experience from a stellar career for Chelsea used to anchor the defence. Played all ten World Cup qualifiers Coach: Mladen Krstajić - Unlike his predecessor has so far shown himself willing to follow orders and give youth a chance. Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea GERMANY The World Cup holders are in good shape to defend their title after going unbeaten in all games in 2017. They have already collected a trophy in Russia in the build-up to the World Cup, winning the Confederations Cup in July and using the warm-up tournament to test new options like late developer Lars Stindl. World Cup qualifying was completed with 10 wins from 10 and a European-record 43 goals. Key player: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) - Germany's new leader, Kroos keeps the side ticking from midfield, where his intelligence, precision and composition on the ball inspires team-mates going forward. Coach: Joachim Low - Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant during the 2006 World Cup, Low took over after that tournament and has overseen steady progress culminating in the 2014 title. MEXICO Mexico have been regulars at the World Cup, but always come up just short. They have played in the last six World Cups, and were knocked out each time in the round of 16. Reaching the quarter-finals this time would be seen as a success. The Mexicans have only done that twice - 1970 and 1986 when they were hosts. Mexico impressed four years ago in Brazil, and they were impressive in qualifying this time, doing so with three games to spare ahead of Costa Rica and Panama. Arch rivals United States missed out this time. Few tears were shed in Mexico over this. Key player: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) - Likely to line up in the front with Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano. Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio - Known for his detailed planning and quick attacking style, but struggles with self-control and was suspended for this summer's Gold Cup after being sent off at the Confederations Cup. SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article