England’s March mission has been a success. Three wins from three against San Marino, Albania and Poland have them some way along the road to Qatar 2022.
Gareth Southgate may not have learned a great deal from the two wins over the minnows but there was some valuable insight into the team’s shortcomings against Poland.
That was the last Three Lions action before he must choose which 23 players will represent the nation at this summer’s European Championship.
Harry Maguire’s late goal saw England beat Poland 2-1 at Wembley on Wednesday evening
Now the March internationals are done, Gareth Southgate must decide on his Euro 2020 squad
With England well on the way to Qatar 2022, attention can now switch to the Euros
Some players are guaranteed picks, others still have question marks hanging over them and plenty are unlikely to make the cut purely because of form, injury or weight of numbers in their position.
We assess who in the extended England player pool is likely to make Southgate’s squad for the summer in our power ranking.
At the top are the players most likely to be selected in the 23 with decreasing likelihood of inclusion as we move down.
1. Harry Kane – Captain, talisman, top goal provider, leading penalty taker… Just pray he doesn’t get injured between now and June.
Harry Kane was spot on from 12 yards to open the scoring for England against Poland
2. Raheem Sterling – England’s main man to make something happen in the toughest games at the Euros. An assured starter, his speed and skill will trouble most opponents.
3. Harry Maguire – Southgate will look to Maguire’s leadership and experience to marshall England’s back line. Not his best season but brings much-needed authority (and can smash the ball, as Poland discovered).
4. Jordan Pickford – Long-standing No 1 for England under Southgate, who values his distribution skills. Prone to errors but he is highly likely to keep the gloves in the summer.
5. Mason Mount – As Southgate admitted the other day, Mount’s effortless class and versatility means he just can’t be left out. An excellent season and an England mainstay for years to come.
The classy Mason Mount looks every inch an England regular for many years to come
6. Marcus Rashford – England will want him fit and firing. Has played well for Man United this season and Southgate will hope that scoring form translates to the Euros.
7. Declan Rice – Now England’s first-choice holding midfielder, he will be expected to anchor things and keep the team ticking over in the tougher matches this summer.
8. Kyle Walker – Ability to play as a conventional right-back in a four or the right-sided centre-back in a three-man defence cements his place in Southgate’s plans.
Kyle Walker will make the squad because he fits nicely into both of Southgate’s formations
9. Ben Chilwell – Favoured against Poland, which suggests he remains first choice at left-back. Produced an energetic performance to stake his case for the summer.
10. Luke Shaw – Has enjoyed an excellent season with Man United to force his way back into the England fold. Will go to the Euros as either first or second choice on left side of defence.
11. Jadon Sancho – Missed the latest set of internationals with a knock but after another very good season for Borussia Dortmund he surely has to be included among an exciting bunch of attacking options.
Jadon Sancho has the capability to spark England into life and is certain to make the squad
12. Nick Pope – Hasn’t done enough to bump Pickford from the No 1 goalkeeper spot but will definitely be going to the Euros as his deputy.
13. Kalvin Phillips – After three consecutive starts, Phillips looks a certainty for the squad in the summer, especially if Jordan Henderson doesn’t make it.
14. Phil Foden – Surely has to make the squad after an excellent season. He may not start the games but what a classy option to have in reserve when an opposition defence needs unlocking.
Phil Foden could prove important in unlocking compact defences during the tournament
15. John Stones – His error against Poland was a concern but off the back of his club form this season has rightly returned to the England back line and will partner Maguire in the summer.
16. Kieran Trippier – Not the easiest season with his betting ban but it’s clear Southgate values him highly and he may well get the nod amid a surfeit of right-back options.
17. Jordan Henderson – Increased optimism now that Henderson will be fit and ready for the tournament after groin surgery. But lack of match sharpness no longer means experienced midfielder is an automatic starter.
Experienced midfielder Jordan Henderson is likely to be included, assuming he is fit
The best-rated England players in the recent World Cup qualifiers. Courtesy of Sofascore
18. Dean Henderson – Given the tradition of picking three goalkeepers in a tournament squad, the Man United man is odds-on to take the third spot and rightly so.
19. Dominic Calvert-Lewin – A back-up centre forward for Kane is a must and Everton’s Calvert-Lewin is enjoying a fine season. Seems the most likely striker to make an impact off the bench if needed.
20. Eric Dier – His Tottenham form has dropped a little but the fact Dier can slot in both in defence and midfield makes him a very handy player to include.
21. Jesse Lingard – Loving his football again on loan at West Ham and is making a perfectly-timed run for England inclusion. A strong end to the season will see him picked ahead of other attacking possibilities.
Jesse Lingard has made a perfectly-timed case for England inclusion in the summer
22. Jack Grealish – Will have been gutted to miss the latest round of games through injury as his autumn England performances made him look a shoo-in for the squad. Now has work to do.
23. Conor Coady – Best placed to go to the Euros as the back-up centre half to Maguire and Stones, though with Dier another possibility the Wolves man may miss out in the end.
24. Harry Winks – His case hasn’t been helped by injuries and Jose Mourinho benching him in many recent Premier League games. Needs to impress from now until the end of the season to squeeze in.
25. Reece James – Has done very little wrong and is unfortunate in the simple weight of other options in his position. Holds his own as a wing-back against the competition but is Southgate planning to play that way?
Reece James has caught the eye but will he miss out because of the volume of right-backs?
26. Tyrone Mings – Probably one or both of Mings and Coady will have to miss out in the summer. Fact he was left on the bench against Albania and Poland doesn’t bode well for the Villa man.
27. James Ward-Prowse – A happy international fortnight for the Southampton man, who scored his first England goal against San Marino. Offers a free-kick threat but likely to be down the midfield pecking order.
28. Trent Alexander-Arnold – The victim of the fact England have too many right-backs. It didn’t bode well for the Liverpool man’s prospects for the Euros with Southgate saying he’d not scaled the heights this season.
Southgate’s decision to omit Trent Alexander-Arnold this time could end his Euro hopes
29. Ollie Watkins – Was thrilled to score in the win over San Marino. It’s been an incredible rise for Watkins these past few years but there are too many other attackers ahead of him for the fairytale to finish at this Euros.
30. Jude Bellingham – The midfielder is exceptional for 17 but his youth means he will also get many more shots at tournaments with England. Mind you, sometimes a manager picks a wildcard just like him.
This tournament may come too soon for 17-year-old Jude Bellingham but chances will come
31. Bukayo Saka – Had to withdraw this time because of a hamstring injury and so didn’t add to his four caps. This tournament probably comes too soon for the 19-year-old.
32. Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Is enjoying regular football during his West Brom loan and is the definition of versatile but isn’t likely to make the cut.
33. Patrick Bamford – After an excellent scoring season with Leeds there was talk of Bamford breaking into the squad this time but it didn’t happen and the chance has probably passed barring mass injuries.
Patrick Bamford has been banging in the goals for Leeds but didn’t make the England squad
34. Sam Johnstone – Baggies keeper is England’s fourth choice. Would require an injury nearer to the tournament for him to be picked.
35. Michael Keane – Wasn’t picked this time and given the other defensive options at Southgate’s disposal that points to a summer watching on the TV despite good Everton form.
36. Danny Ings – Goals have dried up for Southampton after a positive start to the season that saw him involved in the Nations League in the autumn.
37. James Maddison – Still only has the one cap for England and, after injury ruined any chance of a call-up here, it could remain that way for a while.
38. Mason Greenwood – Hasn’t been his season for Man United with just the five goals. But at 19 he is highly likely to experience tournaments with England in the future.
Mason Greenwood will likely miss out after struggling with his Manchester United form
39. Harvey Barnes – Knee surgery last month could see him miss the rest of the season for Leicester and by extension the Euros.
40. Tammy Abraham – Chelsea man is trailing the other forward options in the reckoning despite 12 club goals this season.
41. Joe Gomez – Regrettably injury has ruined his chances of making the squad.