Gareth Southgate’s side are set to face Switzerland and Ivory Coast

Gareth Southgate’s side are set to face Switzerland and Ivory Coast

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21 Mar 2022
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England

Southgate has handed recalls to West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone – a rare example of a second-tier inclusion from the Championship in the national set-up – and Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins to replace Ramsdale and Abraham, respectively.

England begin to step up preparations for the Qatar 2022 World Cup

England have added four faces, including two first-time call-ups, to their squad for the March international break after Aaron Ramsdale, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and Tammy Abraham were all ruled out through injury. Gareth Southgate’s side are set to face Switzerland and Ivory Coast later this month as the Three Lions begin to step up preparations for the Qatar 2022 World Cup at the end of the year. However, Arsenal goalkeeper Ramsdale, Roma forward Abraham and the right-back pair of Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold and Chelsea’s James have all been forced to pull out of this month’s fixtures with various injuries, necessitating a reshuffle of personnel for England. Southgate has handed recalls to West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone – a rare example of a second-tier inclusion from the Championship in the national set-up – and Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins to replace Ramsdale and Abraham, respectively.

Southgate has opted to hand two uncapped players their first call-ups

The former was included in the manager’s last squad in November, while the latter previously featured during the October international break as a No.9 understudy to Harry Kane. For his back-line replacements, Southgate has opted to hand two uncapped players their first call-ups, in the shape of Crystal Palace right-back Tyrick Mitchell and Southampton defender Kyle Walker-Peters, with the duo in line to potentially make their senior debuts this month. Southgate’s decision to plump mostly for like-for-like replacements mean there is no room for displaced Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, both of who were omitted from the original party last week. There was also no place for Milan centre-back Fikayo Tomori or Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with the latter being selected as Kane’s reserve pick over the past few years.

Lastly, Leeds duo Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford both miss out, though given the pair’s fitness remains in question, their exclusion is less of a surprise.

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