Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have been left out of England’s squad, but Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi has been called up for the first time.
England will play Switzerland on March 26 and Ivory Coast on March 29 at Wembley as part of their preparations for the winter World Cup in Qatar.
Kyle Walker has been left out of the 25-man squad, with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Chelsea’s Reece James picked, but Gareth Southgate has stated that the Manchester City right-back will be available for the June internationals.
Southgate claims Marcus Rashford and Sancho were pushed out of his team because to the form of others, with Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, and Jack Grealish favored in the offensive wide areas.
Marcus Rashford, who was named to the squad in November, has been omitted after scoring just twice since then and being primarily used as a substitute by interim United manager Ralf Rangnick since the turn of the year.
“It’s a difficult time for [Rashford],” Southgate remarked. He’s certainly not in top form. There’s still time; we already know a lot about Marcus, and hopefully he can reclaim some of his former form.”
Meanwhile, after receiving increased playing time for United in recent weeks, Sancho is once again left out.
“Because the other offensive players in the squad are slightly ahead of him in the moment in our feeling,” Southgate said of Sancho’s absence.”
Guehi, who joined Palace from Chelsea in the summer, has made an impression in his first Premier League season under Patrick Vieira, and has been promoted from the U21s.
“With Marc, he’s had a pretty consistent season,” England manager Gareth Southgate said of Guehi’s inclusion. On and off the field, I’ve been quite impressed with him. He’s been composed in the most important games.
“We know a lot about him from our development teams – he’s a junior World Cup winner – so there are some centre halves pushing and we’re very close, but we’ve added Marc and Ben White this time and we think it’s a good opportunity to see two slightly younger players and see how they cope with being with us.”
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Nick Pope, Guehi, James Ward-Prowse, Conor Gallagher, Smith Rowe, and Abraham are the only players in the 25-man squad who did not play in the Euros.
Crystal Palace forward Michael Olise, who has caught Southgate’s eye this season but has a lot of ambiguity about his international future, was left out of the team.
The Hammersmith-born 20-year-old, who is eligible for four different countries, was called up for the first time on Friday for the France U21s, having previously represented them at U18 level.
England’s 25-man squad
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), Nick Pope (Burnley)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Wolves), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Roma), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
England’s confirmed 2022 fixtures
Saturday, March 26: Switzerland (h)
Tuesday, March 29: Ivory Coast (h)
June 4: Hungary (a)
June 8: Germany (a)
June 11: Italy (h)
June 14: Hungary (h)
September 23: Italy (a)
September 26: Germany (h)
When and where is the 2022 World Cup?
The 2022 World Cup is taking place in Qatar in the winter months rather than the usual summer ones, due to the heat.
The tournament kicks off on Monday November 21 at the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor with a match that will feature the host country.
The final will be played at the Lusail Stadium in Doha a week before Christmas on Sunday December 18.