Gareth Southgate sweating over Harry Maguire’s fitness ahead of England’s World Cup qualifiers, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James already major doubts
- England boss Gareth Southgate is facing a defensive selection headache
- Harry Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James are all major doubts
- Southgate will check on the trio and Mason Mount before squad announcement
- Ben White is in line for a recall, while Luke Shaw is also expected feature
Gareth Southgate is sweating on the fitness of key defender Harry Maguire ahead of Thursday’s World Cup squad announcement as the England boss faces a defensive selection headache.
Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James are all major doubts heading into Thursday’s squad announcement for the qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary due to injury with Southgate due to make late checks on the trio’s availability before confirming his party on Thursday afternoon.
The England boss will also check on the availability of Mason Mount, who has missed Chelsea’s previous two matches through injury.
Gareth Southgate is sweating on the fitness of Harry Maguire ahead of England’s qualifiers
Trent Alexander-Arnold (left) and Reece James (right) are also major doubts heading into Thursday’s squad announcement
But there was growing concerns on Wednesday night that all three defenders would miss out, though there are hopes Luke Shaw, who is also a doubt, will recover from an illness in time to play in the away game against Andorra on October 9 and at home against Hungary three days later.
Arsenal defender Ben White, who was a late inclusion in England’s Euro 2020 squad, is in line for a recall due to Southgate’s defensive issues.
Joe Gomez is fit again after recovering from a serious knee injury but Southgate has already said he will ease the Liverpool back into the international scene following 10 months out.
AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori is also an option, but it appears White, who has impressed for Arsenal over the past three weeks, is hopeful of securing a place.
Maguire’s expected absence will compound Southgate’s central defensive issues heading into the two World Cup games, who will be concerned over John Stones’ lack of action so far this season with the Manchester City star not playing a single minute for Pep Guardiola so far this season.
Southgate will also check on Mason Mount (left) but it is hoped Luke Shaw (right) will recover
Arsenal defender Ben White is in line for a recall due to Southgate’s defensive issue