Soccer

Carragher includes forgotten Man City star in England World Cup squad

All you need to know ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

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Jamie Carragher has revealed his picks for England’s 26-man squad ahead of the World Cup in Qatar later this month, with Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips a shock inclusion. The former Liverpool defender dropped his preferred squad list for the month-long tournament in the Middle East which begins on November 20 with some intriguing choices, notably also taking Harry Maguire to Qatar.

Maguire has lost his starting spot at Manchester United under Erik ten Hag, with Lisandro Martinez preferred on the left side of the centre-back partnership. And the 29-year-old has started only four matches this season for the Red Devils, although he is expected to retain his place in the England squad.

But Carragher’s justification for including Phillips, the ex-Leeds United enforcer known to be a favourite of Gareth Southgate who impressed during the Three Lions’ run to the Euro 2020 final, is somewhat more mystifying. Phillips has played just 14 minutes of football for City since his £45million transfer from Leeds in the summer, with only a single of minute of Premier League action to his name.

The midfielder insists he is ready to return to action, telling BBC Sport: “I’ve obviously not done it for quite a long time now but I’ve kept my fitness up and I’d like to think I could play 90 minutes.”

On whether he will make the England World Cup squad, Phillips said: “I’m not too sure yet. I’m very hopeful that I can be involved. We will have to wait and see.”

The central midfielder has been hampered by injury issues and has been sidelined with a shoulder injury until recently. And even when he has been fit, Phillips has been forced to wait on the bench with Pep Guardiola preferring to use Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne to form his midfield three.

Carragher has also found places for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker, the latter who faces a race against time to recover from a groin injury. But Chelsea full-back Reece James has been left out despite seeing his chances of recovering in time to play some part improve.

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Chelsea starlet Conor Gallagher and Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse have both featured more regularly than Phillips this season for their clubs, but the pair would miss out if Carragher had the job of selecting the squad.

Former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori has also been overlooked despite some fine displays with AC Milan, while Newcastle’s in-form striker Callum Wilson failed to make it ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham.

Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho is one of the high-profile omissions from Carragher’s squad sheet after a disappointing run of form since his £73m switch from Borussia Dortmund 18 months ago.

Jamie Carragher’s 26-man England squad for the 2022 World Cup:

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale, Nick Pope

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben White, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Eric Dier, Harry Maguire, Conor Coady, Kieran Trippier, Luke Shaw.

Midfielders: Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, James Maddison, Kalvin Phillips

Forwards: Harry Kane, Tammy Abraham, Ivan Toney, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish

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