Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Inexperienced England side earn credible draw with Germany

Uncapped Englishman Mark Noble started West Ham's 4-1 loss to Liverpool on Saturday Uncapped Englishman Mark Noble started West Ham's 4-1 loss to Liverpool on Saturday
Spencer Simpson | 11 November, 2017, 01:05

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is also out, while Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph are further casualties.

Gareth Southgate has admitted England's set-up is not at the same stage as Germany's, and said it will take time for players from the youth teams to break into the senior side.

The depleted squad allows Southgate to field a line-up from a pool of youngsters including Tammy Abraham, Joe Gomez and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who received their first call-ups to the senior squad.

England-based players Mesut Ozil, Emre Can, Leroy Sane and Antonio Rudiger will all hope to make an impression, while the likes of Timo Werner, Niklas Sule, Marvin Plattenhardt, Mario Gotze and Julian Draxler need a big performance as they attempt to convince Low that they should be part of his favoured starting XI ahead of next year's tournament.

Tonight's friendly against the world champions will then be followed by the visit of Brazil on Tuesday, kick-off 8pm.

Here, we rank each of the 49 contenders for a spot by the chances they have of making the final 23 - as things stand. Form, injuries, recent call-ups and experience have all been considered, as we predict: who's on the plane to Russian Federation 2018? "We'll take more from these games than any of the qualification games".

'Hearing this talk of club v country, it is a nonsense'.

Asked if he was satisfied that all players who had pulled out were genuinely injured, Southgate replied: "Yeah, absolutely".

"... Spurs might risk (him and Winks) them for the Arsenal game, that's a different matter".

England will begin their preparations for the 2018 World Cup with a friendly against Germany at Wembley on Friday night.

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