Gareth Southgate is likely to recall a number of key players at Wembley when World Cup qualifiers are in sight
Gareth Southgate is expected to name a better-known starting line-up for Hungary’s visit to Wembley, with a number of key players returning to the squad.
The English coach used Saturday’s brawl against Andorra as an opportunity to experiment, but won’t take any chances against a team that impressed at Euro 2020 if not beaten against the Three Lions in Budapest six weeks ago. A win for England would at least guarantee a World Cup play-off spot with two games to go.
Captain Harry Kane will return to lead the line, with Jordan Pickford, Declan Rice and Raheem Sterling also lining up for callbacks. Jack Grealish is likely to continue after scoring his first international goal in a 5-0 win over Andorra.
In a speech on Monday, Southgate suggested that his decisions be reviewed by some regardless of who receives the nod and, jokingly, that he “commits a crime” every time his team selection is announced.
“We want the squad to feel involved,” Southgate said. “It is important that they know their worth and can contribute to it; it wasn’t a friendly one [against Andorra], it was all about qualification points and I was very satisfied with the quality of the service and the application.
“I have a headache and I commit a crime every time I choose a team. We have such strong competition for places; There have been a lot of players the other day who have done good for their own confidence and reputation and that is good to see.
“We can’t be a team that has a day off. We want to maintain consistency, and we have had that throughout the calendar year. Everyone is proud to put on the shirt. “
Tammy Abraham made a good impression at Roma after moving from Chelsea in the summer and took his chance against Andorra by scoring his second international goal. However, he will give way to Kane despite the fact that the Tottenham striker has not scored any goals at the club level.
Despite appearing in six of Tottenham’s seven Premier League games this season, Kane has yet to score or provide an assist, despite winning in cup competitions and scoring six times.
Mason Mount is also likely to return to the herd after recovering from a light blow. The Chelsea playmaker has become a key player for the club and country in recent years and is one of four English players nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or.
“To see that and to see the names, to be next to these names, of course, is a dream,” he said. “For all the years you work hard, dedicate yourself … it shows everything pays off and it’s just the beginning, it doesn’t stop now.”