England squad announced for March World Cup qualifiers with bold decisions made

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Gareth Southgate has handed a first England call-up to Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins.

And the Three Lions boss also given recalls to Jesse Lingard, John Stones and Luke Shaw.

Southgate had been expected to pick Patrick Bamford, who has been one of the most impressive forwards in the top flight this season with 13 goals for Leeds.

Southgate went to watch him in action for the Yorkshire side against Chelsea at Elland Road last weekend.

But he has chosen Watkins instead, despite the fact he hasn't scored a single goal in his last six games.

Lingard, meanwhile, has been handed an England lifeline after coming out of the international wilderness.

The attacking midfielder was instrumental in helping Southgate's side reach the semi finals of the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

But he suffered a dramatic slump in form and last played under Southgate in 2019.

He left Manchester United to join West Ham on-loan earlier this season and has produced some stunning performances to help David Moyes's men challenge for a top four finish.

Stones and Shaw also return to the squad as reward for their impressive form for Manchester City and United, respectively, this season though Liverpool ace Trent Alexander-Arnold has been dropped.

Southgate has also included West From goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for the first time to provide cover for the injured Jordan Pickford, while Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham is also included.

England face World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland next week.

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    Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Sam Johnstone, Nick Pope

    Defenders: Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

    Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Jesse Lingard, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse

    Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Ollie Watkins

    READ MORE: Jamie Carragher savaged by Micah Richards and Alex Scott with Premier League medals

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    • England Football Team
    • Gareth Southgate
    • World Cup

    Source: Read Full Article