Jude Bellingham and Mason Mount/England World Cup 2022 squad list and numbers: everyone in Qatar – GETTY IMAGESEngland opened their World Cup campaign in stunning style, beating Iran 6-2 in their first group game to send out a message of intent.It has raised expectations further for the Three Lions in Qatar, with Gareth Southgate’s squad picks so far looking on the money.Here’s our verdict on each of the 26 players, plus their squad number – an identifier that Southgate views as very important.England opened their World Cup campaign in breathtaking style – Alessandra Tarantino/APJordan Pickford (Everton)Squad number: 1It seems incredible that Pickford had just three caps before he was England’s No1 for the last World Cup. He has been first-choice in the four years since and it was in his absence recently that Southgate saw what he was missing: an excellent range of passing as well as shot-stopping.Do say: Look at the stats. He has made 55 saves, the second most in the Premier League, and stood out in a struggling Everton team.Don’t mention: Rash mistakes of the past. He has been working with a psychologist over the last two years.Nick Pope (Newcastle)Squad number: 13When was the last time an England goalkeeper was the centre of a social-media frenzy involving the biggest brands in the world? Burger King asked a question, and Nick Pope was the random answer. His saves for Newcastle since arriving in the summer have given him as many headlines, he has been in excellent form.Do say: Which is better….tomato or gherkin?Don’t mention: Relegation. Pope finished in the bottom three last season at Burnley but did enough to secure a move to Newcastle.Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)Squad number: 23One of the stars of All Or Nothing where, despite a win against Aston Villa, he let his Arsenal team-mates know how unhappy he was with conceding a late consolation. His high standards and excellent attitude as a back-up makes him an asset in the goalkeeping department. Sitting at the top of the Premier League, he will be ready if called upon.Do say: Banter. He can give it out as well as take it, as Leicester fans found out when he responded to the chant of “you’re s—, ah…”Don’t mention: Clean sheets lost to late goals. Even in victory, he will be fuming.Aaron Ramsdale of England makes a save during a training session at Al Wakrah Stadium on November 19, 2022 in Doha, Qatar – Eddie Keogh – The FATrent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)Squad number: 18Will have the hunger to prove doubters wrong. His attacking quality and set-pieces have never been in question but there are still defensive errors in his game that can cost his team. Missed out on the Euros through injury after being picked for the squad so this is now his chance, given other injuries.Do say: He’s put in almost 100 crosses so far this season and always influences a game.Don’t mention: Why he did not play during the last international break. Or whether full-back is his best position.Conor Coady (Everton)Squad number: 26His positivity around the camp is so important to England’s squad harmony. That was the case last year when Southgate’s team were in a bio-secure bubble. Coady was the type to get on with his work in training without fuss and be ready if required. One of natural leaders in the group.Do say: What were Wolves thinking letting you out on loan and accepting such a small option?Don’t mention: Whether he can play in a back four. Bruno Lage did not think he could but did not last long with Coady out of his team.Eric Dier (Tottenham)Squad number: 15The comeback kid who was a penalty shootout hero at the last World Cup but lost his place in the squad and missed out at the Euros. His form at the heart of a back three at Tottenham earnt him a recall for the same role under Southgate. Now he has a great chance of a starting place.Do say: Will you take a penalty in a shootout?Don’t mention: Crowd abuse, which saw his brother targeted and Dier heading into the stands. His mother does not go to Spurs away matches.Harry Maguire (Manchester United)Squad number: 6No player has been so divisive under Southgate. His name gets jeered at Wembley and he has lost his place in the Manchester United team, yet the England manager has faith in his centre-back who has been there for the big moments in the last two tournaments, making him likely to play in Qatar regardless of club form.Do say: Form is temporary, you’ve reached the latter stages in the last two tournaments.Don’t mention: Frenzied five seconds against Germany when he lost the ball and conceded a penalty.Luke Shaw (Manchester United)Squad number: 3Last left-back standing after injury to Ben Chilwell and James Justin on the eve of the squad announcement. Shaw has forced his way back into Manchester United’s team after finally getting competition from Tyrell Malacia. He needs to stay fit and show the form of the Euros, which has been seen in glimpses since.Do say: Get forward like you did at the Euro 2020 final.Don’t mention: Jose Mourinho, who seemed to speak out about Shaw whenever he got the opportunity.John Stones (Manchester City)Squad number: 5Another who has been out of the squad and back during the last four years. He did not play for England during 2020 and his place at Manchester City looked in doubt but he stayed to fight for his place and got regular games and his England spot back. Southgate has faith in his style, even when it is criticised for leaving the team open to his errors.Do say: You are the closest England has to Franz Beckenbauer.Don’t mention: Injuries, which have been an issue and saw him sidelined after the last international break.The shirt numbers are very important for Southgate – ADRIAN DENNIS/AFPKieran Trippier (Newcastle United)Squad number: 12Will provide cover at left-back as he did at the Euros. Has moved to Newcastle and his form has been excellent, providing leadership as well as quality on the ball and solidity. Did not play in the last international break but is in Southgate’s plans. Has put in the most crosses of any player in the Premier League this season.Do say: Get yourself on set-pieces.Don’t mention: Betting. He copped a ban before the Euros for telling a friend to “lump on” his move to Atletico Madrid.Kyle Walker (Manchester City)Squad number: 2Has recovered from groin surgery to hopefully take part in the tournament even if he misses the start. Such an important part of Southgate’s system, playing as a right-sided centre-back in a three-man defence, with the pace to get himself out of trouble. His inclusion points to how highly Southgate regards him.Do say: Your powers of recover are startling.Don’t mention: Trying to run off an injury. He tried to carry on when the problem occurred and ended with surgery.Ben White (Arsenal)Squad number: 21It was earlier this year against Switzerland when he was drafted in as a last-minute replacement for John Stones, then was shifted to right-back in the second half. Southgate had a new option at full-back and White’s versatility has put him on the plane to Qatar, as well as an excellent season at the top of the Premier League.Do say: His name. It is Benjamin on his birth certificate and he prefers it.Don’t mention: Other football matches. He was not a huge fan growing up and does not watch many matches to this day.England’s defender Ben White takes part in a training session at the Al Wakrah SC Stadium in Al Wakrah, south of Doha, on November 20, 2022, on the eve of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football tournament Group B match between England and Iran. – Paul ELLIS / AFPJude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)Squad number: 22At 19, he has the biggest clubs in Europe looking to sign him next summer after his emergence at Borussia Dortmund as a matchwinner who looks comfortable in the Champions League. His value could increase even further at the tournament as his performances in the last international break gives him an excellent chance of being a starter.Do say: Shoot on sight. He has nine goals already this season.Don’t mention: Transfers. He was asked recently when he played Manchester City and says he is concentrating on his football.Mason Mount (Chelsea)Squad number: 19One of Southgate’s coolest finishers when he gets into the penalty area. The England manager trusts the Chelsea midfielder and knows he will get through kilometres of hard work and has quality on the ball at the end of each run. One question is whether he is effective deeper or as a wide forward.Do say: That his form has been excellent under Graham Potter even when Chelsea have struggled.Don’t mention: Covid. He was in isolation during the Euros for close contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour. Missed an Ed Sheeran gig as a result.Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City)Squad number: 14His timing was perfect this week as he made his return from shoulder surgery to play in the EFL Cup win over Chelsea, proving his fitness with 24 hours before the squad announcement. His character means Southgate wanted to take him even if not involved in the first matches. Important at setting tempo in midfield when he plays.Do say: You were 2021 player of the year for England, of course you’re going to Qatar.Don’t mention: Injuries, they limited his action at City even before the shoulder op.Declan Rice (West Ham United)Squad number: 4One of the first names on the team sheet for Southgate for his all-action displays in the heart of midfield. At 23, the way he controls Premier League matches is beyond his years. His engine will be so important for Southgate in Qatar as he carries his team forward but also protects the defence.Do say: Rice Rice Baby. He can rap and play football.Don’t mention: Referees. He was upset against Eintracht Frankfurt last season and called them corrupt.Declan Rice in action in the group stage opener against Iran – Clive Brunskill/Getty ImagesJordan Henderson (Liverpool)Squad number: 8Made his intention clear during the last international break when he returned early from an injury to take his place in the squad, making it clear he wanted to do everything possible to be on the plane to Qatar. Still has energy in midfield when called upon and is a leader among the squad off the pitch as well.Do say: You have more than a decade of England experience.Don’t mention: Retirement. No plans to call it a day with the Three Lions.Conor Gallagher (Chelsea)Squad number: 26Only four caps under his belt but has energy that England could need in the heat. The 22-year-old has not been playing in every game for Chelsea but Southgate is aware of what he brings to the squad and another midfielder gives balance to his squad.Do say: Get stuck in. His stats are good in the Chelsea team for tackling.Don’t mention: Failing to prevent West Brom getting relegated during his loan spell at the club.James Maddison (Leicester City)Squad number: 25It is three years since his last England cap but his form for Leicester City has made an irresistible case for him to be on the plane. Southgate has been accused of being risk-averse but Maddison is seen as having the potential to change a game off the bench, taking defenders on trying to unlock defences.Do say: Assists (4) and goals (6) are among the best in the Premier League this season.Don’t mention: The casino trip in 2019 when he was too ill to play for EnglandMarcus Rashford (Manchester United)Squad number: 11His recent England career was blighted by injury pull-outs and then a loss of form for Manchester United but he has shown enough to earn a recall. Southgate knows him well enough and a return of confidence will make him a threat. He is still one of the most capped players under Southgate despite losing his place.Do say: Where do you fancy playing? He has been No9 for United and can play across frontline.Don’t mention: Getting dropped by England. His mentality was not right, he recently admitted.Phil Foden (Manchester City)Squad number: 20Came into the Euros with blonde hair like Gazza but it did not quite happen for him at the tournament. He is a huge talent and on his day a matchwinner, with Southgate surely ready to give him a chance. He prefers midfield but will be effective as a left-sided forward looking to get into the penalty area.Do say: Play like you did against Manchester United when you scored a hat-trick.Don’t mention: He has not started a Premier League game in almost a month.Jack Grealish (Manchester City)Squad number: 7Southgate can appear reluctant to trust Grealish’s flair but when he brings him off the bench – he rarely starts – he always makes an impact. Crowds want to see him and he draws in defenders and wins fouls. He has been playing well recently despite not having the goals to show for it.Do say: What is on the dressing-room playlist? He is learning to be a DJ.Don’t mention: His label of Premier League’s biggest transfer, which follows him around.England Training – Al Wakrah SC stadium, Al Wakrah, Qatar – England’s Jack Grealish during training – Paul Childs/REUTERSHarry Kane (Tottenham)Squad number: 9The whole of England has been praying that Kane stays fit ahead of the tournament, such is his importance to how they play. The captain will be on the end of chances and also drop deep to create attacks. If England do well in the tournament, he is likely to have beaten Wayne Rooney’s 53-goal record by the end.Do say: How will it feel to be England’s greatest goalscorer?Don’t mention: Fatigue. He was taken off this week for tiredness and must be at full tilt for Qatar.Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)Squad number: 17Has become one of the nation’s favourite players in the aftermath of missing a penalty in the Euro finals. His form for Arsenal means he is a key player for Southgate despite his age. At 21 he could be considered a senior member of the squad. Direct running against Germany in last game puts him in contention for a starting place in Qatar.Do say: How does it feel to be competing at the top of the Premier League?Don’t mention: His contract at Arsenal is yet to be finalised and he has one full season left on it.Saka celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during their opener against Iran – ADRIAN DENNIS / AFPRaheem Sterling (Chelsea)Squad number: 10Has suffered dips in form during his England career and admitted how hurt he felt when booed by his own fans but he is now an established part of how Southgate’s team functions and is a huge presence in the squad. Has shown before that he is international class and often selfless with how he plays for England.Do say: You have 79 caps at the age of 27, which is on course to break records.Don’t mention: Recent form at Chelsea where Graham Potter has been getting to grips with a new team.Callum Wilson (Newcastle United)Squad number: 24Late surge into the squad with his goals for Newcastle while remaining fit. His injuries have held him back before but when he is fit he knows where the net it. He gets his head, foot or part of his body on the ball and find the target, which is a knack that cannot be taught.Do say: Newcastle are heading into Europe with your goals.Don’t mention: Injuries that have hampered him.Callum Wilson of England stretches during a training session in the gym at Al Wakrah Stadium – Eddie Keogh – The FA
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