England World Cup squad ladder: Maddison climbs into contention


We’re just days away from Gareth Southgate naming his England squad for the World Cup in Qatar but who will make it into his 26-man squad?

The Sky Sports England World Cup squad ladder has been charting the form of the contenders for a place in his squad over the past two months and with the big announcement coming on Thursday, there are still some big decisions for Southgate to make.

In-form captain Harry Kane (1st) of course leads the way and No1 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is up one place to 2nd on our ladder after some brilliant recent performances for Everton.

on the plane
Image: The players effectively on the plane and surely assured of their place in the squad

John Stones (up two, 9th) is back fit and playing an important role for Man City and his long-term defensive partner for England, Harry Maguire (up one, 15th) makes it into our ‘on the plane’ category, too. The Man Utd centre-back may not be playing every game for his club but he’s fit and Southgate’s faith in him is unshakeable.

departure lounge
Image: These players might not be ‘on the plane’ certainties – but they’re in the departure lounge and confident of boarding the flight…

James Maddison (up six to 24th) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (up two to 25th) have been far less certain in their own chances of a call-up under Southgate but a mixture of fine form – 10 goal involvements in 12 Premier League games for Leicester’s Maddison – and injuries – to Reece James (35th) and Kyle Walker (27th) in Alexander-Arnold’s position – have surely put them in a strong position for involvement in Qatar.

taxi
Image: This group of players are perhaps in a taxi to the airport, hopeful of making the flight to Qatar – but uncertain of whether they’ll make it

Southgate will have some tough calls to make around some fringe players, though, with the balance and make-up of his squad an important factor, given this tournament is coming in the middle of an already demanding season.

One key decision will be who goes as left-back cover to Luke Shaw (10th), following Ben Chilwell’s heart-breaking hamstring injury.

Ryan Sessegnon (up nine to 31st) and new entries Dan Burn (new entry, 32nd), James Justin (new entry, 36th), Tyrick Mitchell (new entry, 37th), Rico Henry (new entry, 38th) and Aaron Cresswell (new entry, 39th) will all be hoping their phone rings this week.

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