England squad named for UEFA Nations League Finals – The FA

England squad named for UEFA Nations League Finals - The FA

Nations League: Harry Kane in England squad, Ruben Loftus-Cheek out

Expand Gareth Southgate and his staff will begin their preparations for the Nations League on Monday Buy tickets: Gareth Southgate has named a 27-man squad as England begin their preparations for this summer’s UEFA Nations League Finals.

The Three Lions have a number of players still involved with their clubs, with the Emirates FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League Finals all scheduled to take place over the next few weeks.

Gareth Southgate includes Harry Kane in Englands UEFA Nations League squad

And that means players will be reporting to St. George’s Park for training at different times before a final squad of 23 will head to Portugal ahead of the semi-final with the Netherlands in Guimaraes on Thursday 6 June and a second game on Sunday 9 June.

England qualified for the Nations League finals after memorable wins over Croatia and Spain – helping the Three Lions to top the group by a single point.

In terms of Southgate’s selection, there’s a spot in the squad for Southampton forward Nathan Redmond who enjoyed a strong end to the season at St. Mary’s.

A tough looking semi-final against the Netherlands will take place on Thursday June 6, with the tournament concluding just three days later on Sunday June 9.

A regular during Southgate’s time in charge of the U21s, Redmond picked up his first senior cap when he featured in a game against Germany in March 2017.

There’s also a return to the squad for Fabian Delph, Joe Gomez, Jesse Lingard and Harry Winks, who all missed March’s games through injury.

Should the Three Lions fail to get past Virgil van Dijk and co, then yet another third-place play-off would be on the agenda for Southgate’s side.

The first group of players to report for training next week will include those whose clubs finished their campaigns last weekend.

England’s captain has been sidelined with an ankle injury since the start of April but his return to action appears to be on the horizon.

Players from Manchester City, involved in the FA Cup Final against Watford on Saturday, will then link up in the week commencing Monday 27 May.

With Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea all involved in UEFA finals the following weekend, players from those clubs are expected to join the group in the week commencing Monday 3 June before the squad travel to Portugal.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) Ross Barkley (Chelsea) Jack Butland (Stoke City) Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) Fabian Delph (Manchester City) Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) Joe Gomez (Liverpool) Tom Heaton (Burnley) Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) Michael Keane (Everton) Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) Harry Maguire (Leicester City) Jordan Pickford (Everton) Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) Nathan Redmond (Southampton) Declan Rice (West Ham United) Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) John Stones (Manchester City) Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur) Kyle Walker (Manchester City) James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth) Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur)

Southgate’s boys are now looking to become the inaugural winners of UEFA’s latest Frankenstein competition.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane is one of nine Champions League finalists named in Englands initial 27-man squad for the inaugural Nations League finals despite his fitness being “an unknown”.

If England make it all the way to the final, they will face either Switzerland or host nation Portugal.

England captain Kane has not played since injuring his left ankle in the first leg of Spurs Champions League quarter-final victory over Manchester City on 9 April.

“Hes working to be fit for the [Champions League] final,” said England manager Gareth Southgate. “We are keeping that door open.”

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek misses out, and will also sit out the Europa League final against Arsenal on 29 May after injuring an ankle in a friendly in the US on Wednesday.

“Its a huge disappointment for him and he now misses a major European final and a brilliant opportunity for us.”

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham ), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Harry Winks (Tottenham)

Strikers: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)

England play their Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands on 6 June in Portugal, just five days after the Champions League showpiece between Liverpool and Spurs.

Kane is named alongside five Spurs team-mates – including Harry Winks, who has had groin surgery – with three Liverpool players also included.

“In the long term for England, its brilliant. All of these experiences are what this team hasnt had before,” said Southgate.

“Its been an incredible couple of weeks for English football and we are looking forward to continuing that.”

Southamptons Nathan Redmond, who has won one cap, has been included after an impressive end to a season in which he scored nine goals.

Leicesters Ben Chilwell and Tottenhams Danny Rose are preferred to Manchester Uniteds Luke Shaw at left-back, an area where Southgate said his side are “blessed with so much talent”.

Asked if it was a tough decision, Southgate said: “No. Ben Chilwell and Danny Rose have been excellent for us, so they are ahead in the pecking order.”

Should England beat the Netherlands, they will face Portugal or Switzerland in the final on 9 June in Porto.

The stability and lack of surprises in England manager Gareth Southgates squad for the Nations League finals is a strong indicator of its outstanding progress.

The Nations League cannot seriously be regarded as a major honour in the same way as other showpiece tournaments, but success and silverware will be another measure of England building on the platform laid by last summers run to the World Cup semi-final.

Southgate still has questions around his squad, hit by the serious injury to Chelseas Ruben Loftus-Cheek, but he has clearly had a positive health bulletin over injured Spurs pair Harry Kane and Harry Winks.

Their selection may also be construed as a sign that Spurs are confident they will be available for selection in some form for the Champions League final against Liverpool in Madrid on 1 June.

That match and the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea in Baku does complicate matters – 10 squad members are involved – and, with Manchester City players and Borussia Dortmunds Jadon Sancho arriving late, only 12 from the 27-man squad will be at the first gathering.

Southamptons Nathan Redmond is a rewarded for his outstanding form, while it is a sign of Manchester Uniteds parlous state that their player of the year, Luke Shaw, does not even make the squad.

Southgate will be keeping his fingers crossed during those European finals but this is a confident, motivated squad well capable of challenging the Netherlands – and then Switzerland or hosts Portugal.

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