Harry Maguire could make England squad despite lack of Manchester United action

By Sports Desk August 30, 2023

Harry Maguire has yet to play for Manchester United this season but could be part of the England squad announced on Thursday as Gareth Southgate deals with defensive headaches.

The Euro 2020 runners-up continue the road to next summer’s tournament with a qualifier against Ukraine in Poland on September 9, before playing a friendly in Scotland three days later.

There have been few surprises in recent selections and that theme is likely to continue when Southgate names his squad for the double-header at St George’s Park on Thursday.

The England boss is expected to largely stick with the tried and tested, meaning the likes of and Maguire, Kalvin Phillips and Jordan Henderson may get the nod despite questions over their international futures.

Maguire was replaced as Manchester United captain over the summer having fallen down the pecking order and has yet to play for Erik ten Hag’s side this season.

The 30-year-old’s last competitive match was June’s 7-0 win against North Macedonia and his next could also come in an England shirt due to a lack of centre-back options.

John Stones has yet to feature in the league this term due to a hip problem and Tyrone Mings, who returned to the international squad in June, has suffered a serious knee injury.

Eric Dier is fit but has not even made the bench for Tottenham this season and has been widely linked with a move before Friday’s transfer deadline.

Ben White, Fikayo Tomori, Marc Guehi and Lewis Dunk are options, while Chelsea defender Levi Colwill is expected to receive his first formal call-up.

The 20-year-old centre-back spent time with the senior set-up in June, including travelling to Malta, before going on to help England Under-21s win the European Championship.

In midfield, Southgate has decisions to make over Phillips and Henderson – two key members of his squad in recent years.

The former has struggled to make an impact at treble-winning Manchester City since joining from Leeds last summer and has yet to play a minute this term.

Southgate previously indicated a continued lack of game time could impact Phillips and Maguire, while Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia raises questions over his international role ahead of the Euros.

England’s vice-captain joined Al-Ettifaq in the summer – a move that Southgate said makes it harder to assess the 33-year-old’s level, albeit clarifying “we would be stupid” to rule him out.

There is better news regarding another of England’s most experienced players after Raheem Sterling’s return to form after a sticky first campaign at Chelsea.

The 82-cap forward has not played for England since the World Cup quarter-final defeat to France, with injury ruling him out in March and a hamstring issue lying him low in June.

That omission was described as a “mutual decision” that appears to have paid off given Sterling’s lively start to the new season, including a brace and assist in Friday’s 3-0 win over Luton.

Chelsea team-mate Reece James is set to miss September’s matches through injury, as are the Manchester United duo of Luke Shaw and Mason Mount.

Morgan Gibbs-White, a key part of England’s Under-21s Euros triumph, is pushing to get his first call-up after continuing where he left off back at Nottingham Forest.

Eberechi Eze will be looking to maintain his place having made his debut in June and Rico Henry is another reportedly in contention.

Brentford team-mate Ivan Toney remains unavailable as he serves a Football Association betting ban and Roma’s Tammy Abraham is recovering from reconstructive surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Callum Wilson has not started for Newcastle this season but fellow striker Ollie Watkins – whose last cap came in March 2022 – is looking sharp at Aston Villa.

Related items

  • Pulisic says USA were 'flying' against Bolivia after inspirational display Pulisic says USA were 'flying' against Bolivia after inspirational display

    Christian Pulisic felt the United States made a flying start to the Copa America with their impressive victory over Bolivia in Texas.

    Milan star Pulisic stole the show with an eye-catching strike into the top corner, and he added an assist for Folarin Balogun as the USA opened their campaign with a 2-0 win on home soil on Sunday.

    Pulisic became only the second USA player after Clint Dempsey to register a goal and an assist in a Copa America match, while he is also now the country's quickest player to reach 30 goals, doing so in his 69th game.

    An inspired performance from the captain also ended a woeful run for the USA against CONMEBOL sides at this tournament, given Gregg Berhalter's side had previously lost eight of 10 such games.

    Pulisic felt that USA could easily have won by a greater margin, with the strong performance making a statement ahead of their next group games against Panama and Uruguay.

    "We should build some confidence from this and feel good," Pulisic said after the game.

    "We came out flying with a lot of intensity and obviously that early goal helped us a lot.

    "It's Copa America, it's a big tournament. I feel like I'm always pretty excited after I score, but it's a big moment, it's a major tournament.

    "All around, it was a pretty dominant performance. I think we could have put it away and had more goals there.

    "The games are just going to get tougher and tougher as the tournament goes on, so we have got to be ready." 

    Defender Antonee Robinson also felt USA could easily have won by more.

    "If we were being picky, we could have been a lot more clinical," the Fulham player said. "We could have put another two or three goals away, but getting off to a win to start with is massive for us.

    "Build the confidence, show we are here to win, here to play and it puts us in good stead for the next game."

    USA head coach Berhalter was delighted with the impact made by Pulisic, whose opening strike had an expected goals (xG) tally of just 0.037.

    The tournament hosts racked up 20 shots, finding the target with eight, compared to tallies of six and three respectively for Bolivia.

    As part of an all-action display, Pulisic created three chances, sent in 10 crosses and superbly completed 21 of the game-high 22 passes he attempted in the final third.

    "He is a selfless leader," said Berhalter. "He goes out and competes and works really hard. That helps the team.

    "Then you add to the fact that he is highly skilled and can make plays on the offensive end and create chances. It is a great combination, and what you see is him supporting his teammates, him backing guys, him pushing guys. 

    "To me, it was an outstanding performance. He got coach's man of the match and it was much deserved.

    "We will always look at chance creation as a marker of performance, and I think we created enough chances. 

    "I like the performance for an opening game against a difficult opponent. We are in a good position."

    Bolivia, meanwhile, have now lost their last four international outings by a concerning margin of 9-1, having suffered defeats against Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and USA.

    They face Uruguay, who won their opener 3-1 against Panama, on Thursday.

    USA will play Panama earlier on the same day before concluding their Group C campaign against Uruguay on July 1.

  • Bielsa left wanting more despite Uruguay's winning start at Copa America Bielsa left wanting more despite Uruguay's winning start at Copa America

    Marcelo Bielsa insists there is room for improvement for Uruguay, despite kicking off their Copa America campaign with a 3-1 win over Panama in Florida. 

    Uruguay's win saw them move level on points with hosts the United States following their victory over Bolivia in the other Group C encounter. 

    The 15-time winners were rewarded for their fast start when Maximilian Araujo curled home his first international goal in the 16th minute. 

    However, Panama would grow into the contest as Jose Fajardo and Jose Rodriguez squandered golden opportunities for Thomas Christiansen's side. 

    And their wastefulness was punished late on as Darwin Nunez, who had missed several chances in the game, settled Uruguay's nerves with a calm finish. 

    Matias Vina furthered La Celeste's advantage in the first minute of injury-time with a header, only for Michael Amir Murillo to net a late consolation for Panama. 

    However, Bielsa was quick to temper expectations despite the triumph, insisting his side must improve to secure a record 16th Copa America crown. 

    The 68-year-old took charge of Uruguay in May last year, beating both Argentina and Brazil in World Cup qualifiers. 

    "When it comes to Uruguay's aspirations, we will see that and build it match by match," he told reporters.

    "My expectation is that each match will increasingly help us to improve on our level. Uruguay has players of a very good level and we need to see if I can build with those players."

    Uruguay continue their group campaign against Bolivia in New Jersey on Thursday, before facing the USA at the Arrowhead Stadium next Tuesday. 

  • Bielsa left wanting more despite winning start at Copa America Bielsa left wanting more despite winning start at Copa America

    Marcelo Bielsa insists there is room for improvement for Uruguay, despite kicking off their Copa America campaign with a 3-1 win over Panama in Florida. 

    Uruguay's win saw them move level on points with hosts the United States following their victory over Bolivia in the other Group C encounter. 

    The 15-time winners were rewarded for their fast start when Maximilian Araujo curled home his first international goal in the 16th minute. 

    However, Panama would grow into the contest as Jose Fajardo and Jose Rodriguez squandered golden opportunities for Thomas Christiansen's side. 

    And their wastefulness was punished late on as Darwin Nunez, who had missed several chances in the game, settled Uruguay's nerves with a calm finish. 

    Matias Vina furthered La Celeste's advantage in the first minute of injury-time with a header, only for Michael Amir Murillo to net a late consolation for Panama. 

    However, Bielsa was quick to temper expectations despite the triumph, insisting his side must improve to secure a record 16th Copa America crown. 

    The 68-year-old took charge of Uruguay in May last year, beating both Argentina and Brazil in World Cup qualifiers. 

    "When it comes to Uruguay's aspirations, we will see that and build it match by match," he told reporters.

    "My expectation is that each match will increasingly help us to improve on our level. Uruguay has players of a very good level and we need to see if I can build with those players."

    Uruguay continue their group campaign against Bolivia in New Jersey on Thursday, before facing the USA at the Arrowhead Stadium next Tuesday. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.