Neither England nor France see a clear favourite as they prepare to face one another in a highly anticipated World Cup quarter-final.

The Three Lions and Les Bleus each eased through the last 16, beating Senegal and Poland respectively to set up a far trickier tie in the next round.

Although England have won both of the sides' previous World Cup meetings, France have lost just one of the past eight between the nations in all competitions.

Didier Deschamps' side are the world champions – albeit the first holders to feature in a quarter-final since Brazil in 2006.

Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate is hoping to become the first England manager to go to two World Cup semi-finals, and Kyle Walker – on whom there is plenty of focus ahead of a battle with Kylian Mbappe – cannot split the two teams.

"We're playing the world champions, but we are two good teams that will go toe to toe," the England right-back said. "You've seen what can happen in 90-plus minutes.

"There have been shocks and for us this is just another game. We take our hat off to them as world champions, but each and every one of us will not be rolling that red carpet out for them to treat it as a theatre.

"We have great talent – talk about the goals we have scored and the clean sheets that we've kept. In my eyes, neither team is the underdogs or the favourites."

It is an assessment France midfielder Adrien Rabiot agrees with, even if England have been eliminated from six of their past eight World Cup knockout matches against fellow European nations.

"They are a team that has the same characteristics as us, very fast on the wings, with attacking full-backs, midfielders who can get forward, and [Declan] Rice looks a bit like [Aurelien] Tchouameni," Rabiot said.

"I am not sure that we should say that we have to be careful. They will also be very careful because we have the possibility of putting them in difficulty.

"It's an open game with two teams who know how to counter. What can make a difference is set-pieces. They are very good, we will have to be vigilant and not make the same mistakes as against Denmark. They have weapons, but we are not inferior."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

England – Jude Bellingham

Teenage sensation Bellingham will play a huge role in getting England up the pitch. He has won possession more often than any team-mate (23), with only Harry Kane (six) doing so more often in the final third (five). England have won the most high turnovers at the tournament (38).

 

France – Olivier Giroud

Mbappe has the talent to decide the game not just by scoring but also by setting up Giroud, as he did against Poland. Mbappe (five) alone has scored more goals for France at this World Cup than the 36-year-old (three).

The only older player to net four at a single World Cup was 38-year-old Roger Milla for Cameroon in 1990.

PREDICTION

Neither Walker nor Rabiot may be able to choose a favourite, but Opta's supercomputer can – just.

France are given a 40.3 per cent chance of winning, ahead of slight underdogs England's 32.4 per cent. In a tie this tight, extra time or penalties could be required, with the draw rated at 27.3 per cent.

Gareth Southgate believes it will take a collective effort from England to stop Kylian Mbappe in Saturday's mouthwatering World Cup quarter-final against France.

Mbappe is the tournament's top scorer with five goals in four matches, including a double in the reigning champions' 3-1 victory over Poland in the round of 16.

Kyle Walker is the player many believe will be chosen to deal with the power and pace of Mbappe, with the possibility that Southgate will opt to play with a back five.

The Three Lions boss does not think it will all be on Walker to stop the Paris Saint-Germain star, stating that every player will have to chip in.

"He’s [Walker] been a very important player for us over the last six years," Southgate said.

"Kyle is ready. We, of course, are talking about one of the opposition, but we play France who are a fantastic team.

"We're aware of the quality of the whole squad. He's [Didier Deschamps] created a team that is stronger than the individuals. That's great credit to him, we know we've got to be at our very best to win the game."

Asked how England will prepare for Mbappe, Southgate said: "Same as every position on the field, you have 10 one-v-one battles, but then everybody else round those battles has to support their team-mate.

"You've got to work collectively to stop any player like that. You’ve got to work the areas of the pitch zonally to make sure there's good coverage and support for every player on the pitch, simple as that."

France are unbeaten in the 13 games in which Mbappe has started in the World Cup and European Championship combined (W10 D3), winning all nine in which he has played from the beginning at the World Cup.

The 23-year-old has been directly involved in 12 goals in those 13 starts, scoring nine and making three assists.

England captain Harry Kane, though, believes Walker is in the form of his life and is more than capable of dealing with Mbappe.

"Kyle is a fantastic defender," Kane said. "He's been probably the most consistent right back there's been for the last 10 years or so.

"He's playing at the highest level I think he's ever played at. I know everyone's talking about Kyle and Kylian, but Kyle will be focused on doing his job for the team as he always does. He's one of the best defenders."

France are struggling to see how Kyle Walker will stop Kylian Mbappe running rampant in Saturday's World Cup showdown with England.

The tussle down the French left has been characterised as the key battleground ahead of the quarter-final at Al Bayt Stadium.

Mbappe's electric pace, sublime dribbling skills and eye for goal have made him the standout player at the finals so far, and the leading scorer with five goals.

Manchester City right-back Walker is the oldest player in the England squad, but the 32-year-old is also said to be the quickest. As such, it falls kindly for manager Gareth Southgate that Walker should naturally be the man to keep an eye on Mbappe.

Walker said on Wednesday that stopping Mbappe will be "easier said than done", but he added: "I'm not going to roll out a red carpet for him and tell him to score."

France defender Youssouf Fofana will reluctantly applaud Walker if he keeps Mbappe quiet.

He pointed to French Ligue 1 clubs having previously all set out with game plans to handle the Paris Saint-Germain frontman, only to have those blown out of the water by the 23-year-old's sheer brilliance.

"It's all to his credit if he knows how to stop Kylian, but 19 other teams in Ligue 1 are still waiting for the solution," Fofana said at a France press conference on Thursday.

"The truth is out there, we'll see what happens. We have confidence in Kylian."

Fofana described England and France as being "quite close in terms of culture" and said Southgate's side possessed "incredible" individuals.

"We've seen it since the Euros, they're constantly progressing. It will be a great match," said the 23-year-old Monaco player.

As a teenager, with his career in limbo after leaving the French national football academy at Clairefontaine, Fofana delivered pizzas for a living while trying to forage for a way forward in his preferred career.

He needed to earn a crust, but doors soon began to open as Strasbourg gave him an opportunity, before Monaco came calling almost three years ago.

"When you leave Clairefontaine, there are doubts," Fofana said of that time in his life. "When there are doubts you have to move forward. You need money, I had to make some. It was the best way to do that while trying to follow my dreams."

Declan Rice is fit to play for England against France in their World Cup quarter-final, Three Lions team-mate Kalvin Phillips confirmed.

Rice missed England's training session on Wednesday because of illness, sparking fears over his ability to play against the reigning world champions on Saturday.

But Phillips, who formed a vital partnership with Rice in England's route to the Euro 2020 final, allayed any worries over the West Ham midfielder's availability.

"I believe Dec [Rice] is fit," Phillips told reporters at his pre-match news conference. "He's back in training and he's fine."

After playing such a vital role at the European Champions last year, Phillips has played just 40 minutes off the bench in Qatar, in part due to only recently returning from shoulder surgery.

However, Phillips insists he is ready to fill in if Rice does experience any problems against France, saying: "If something goes wrong then I'll be there and I'll do my best to be fit for 90 minutes.

"I want to play as many minutes as possible. Regardless of whether Dec is playing or I am, we'll do our best."

Another reason for Phillips' limited time on the pitch has been the emergence of 19-year-old Jude Bellingham, who has been widely praised for his excellent tournament displays at such a young age.

Asked whether he is enjoying the tournament less because of his reduced minutes, the Manchester City man insisted he was still happy, and also praised those preferred to him.

"I am still enjoying it. I am still having loads of fun," Phillips explained. "I'm not playing as much, which can be frustrating, but if you look at the players playing ahead of me and how well they are doing, I can't really argue.

"I just need to keep working hard and getting fitter and fitter and then make an impact when I come on and be solid when I come on."

Much of the talk in the build-up to England's quarter-final clash has centred on how manager Gareth Southgate will combat the threat of tournament top goalscorer Kylian Mbappe.

Phillips' City team-mate Kyle Walker is the man many feel will be chosen to deal with Mbappe, though the defender only recently returned from injury.

While Phillips lauded Mbappe's abilities, he is confident Walker will be up to the task of defending against him, adding: "We know he [Mbappe] is an amazing player and he has been one of the top players for the last few years.

"But if there was anyone I would like to put up against Mbappe, it would be Kyle Walker because he is an unbelievable defender and probably the only one that is quicker than him as well."

Ibrahima Konate is relishing the chance to see Kylian Mbappe and Kyle Walker's battle up close and personal when France face England in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Les Bleus are into the last eight after victory over Poland, with Didier Deschamps' side now set to take on Gareth Southgate's Three Lions, one of the few unbeaten sides left at Qatar 2022.

Forward Mbappe, who sits atop the Golden Boot standings with five goals to his name, has been the form player at the tournament so far.

But he will face arguably his toughest test yet in England right-back Walker, with Konate looking forward to seeing the pair square off.

"Walker and Mbappe are two very great players," he said. "Walker is one of the best right-backs in the world, I cannot wait to see this battle.

"[But] it's complicated [to defend against Mbappe]. Kylian is impressive. Each year, he evolves and becomes even better.

"I don't know where he will stop. We are lucky to have him in our team and not against us."

Mbappe missed team training on Tuesday, instead completing routines inside away from the rest of the squad, sparking fears of a potential injury knock.

But Konate shut down such talk, suggesting instead it was a preordained decision as part of his post-match recovery process.

"It was a little recovery session, the day before we had a day off," he added. "I think he decided to stay indoors with the coach.

"There is nothing to worry about. We are counting on him as on all the players in the group. Everyone must be in good health to face England."

Kyle Walker will not "roll out a red carpet" for Kylian Mbappe as England prepare to face France in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

Mbappe is the tournament's top scorer so far with five goals in four matches, including a double in the reigning champions' 3-1 victory over Poland in the round of 16.

That win set up a clash in the final eight with England, giving Three Lions' manager Gareth Southgate a headache on how to best counter the threat of Mbappe.

Walker is the player many believe will be chosen to deal with the power and pace of Mbappe, with the possibility that Southgate will opt to play with a back five.

While Walker lauded Mbappe's talents, the Manchester City defender feels he is well-equipped to cope with the Paris Saint-Germain star.

"Of course I understand the focus and I understand what I need to do to stop him," Walker told reporters. "It's easier said than done but I don't underestimate myself.

"I've come up against some of the best players in the world but I have to treat it just as another game. You have to give him respect but not too much.

"I'm not going to roll out a red carpet for him and tell him to score. It's a World Cup, it's do or die.

"I'm not going home so I'm not going to let him ruin that for my family."

Other France forwards have impressed alongside Mbappe, such as Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud, the latter of whom became Les Bleus' all-time record goalscorer with his strike against Poland, with Walker stressing the focus is not just on the PSG forward.

Walker says it is important England pay due attention to all of France's attackers, and not just Mbappe, adding: "It will be a tough game but a team cannot just be about one person.

"When we've [City] played Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, we're not just thinking of Mbappe and it's the same on Saturday. 

"He's a tool in their armoury - and a very good one - but you can't underestimate their other players.

"We know he's a great player and that's why he's the focus of all questions. But let's not forget Olivier Giroud who has scored lots of goals, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann.

"For me all the questions shouldn't be about him [Mbappe]. I appreciate he's a great footballer, but there are others too."

At 32-years-old, Walker is one of the older members of England's squad, with young stars such as Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham playing a starring role in England's campaign so far.

Walker commended the Three Lions' new generation, reserving particular praise for Bellingham, who has lit up the tournament with his sparkling midfield displays at just 19-years-old.

"It is great for the English game," Walker declared. "As you mentioned, Jude [Bellingham] being one who has the courage to play for England that others didn't have when they were younger.

"They have no fear and they go in and express themselves. I feel the standard of players has gone up another level in this tournament."

James Maddison backed Kyle Walker to "do a job" on Kylian Mbappe in the World Cup quarter-final but acknowledged England will have to deal with multiple France threats on Saturday.

The in-form Mbappe scored twice in Sunday's 3-1 round-of-16 win over Poland, just hours before England cruised past Senegal 3-0 to reach the last eight in their third straight major tournament.

A pair of excellent right-footed strikes took the France forward to five for the tournament in Qatar, handing him the outright lead in the Golden Boot race as Les Bleus look to regain their world crown.

Former England defender Gary Neville labelled Walker as "the best right-back in the world" to deal with the Paris Saint-Germain star at the Al Bayt Stadium and Maddison echoed the pundit's sentiment.

"He's obviously a fantastic player, one of the best in the world," the Leicester City midfielder told talkSPORT. "I'm sure we'll prepare right to try and stop him.

"Kyle Walker started right-back in the game against Senegal and he's one of the best full-backs in the world. I think if anyone can do a job, it's him.

"But France have a lot of threats. It's not just Kylian Mbappe. They're a brilliant team and that's why they are reigning champions.

"We've got a lot to be wary of but the tactical work that we do, and the staff here, the work that goes in on the background that people don't see, will leave us in good stead and hopefully we can progress."

 

While the likes of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham have shone for Gareth Southgate in Qatar, Maddison is yet to appear for England.

The 26-year-old, who has just one cap to his name, missed the first two games due to a knee injury before Southgate opted for other options against Wales and Senegal.

Maddison hopes he will soon get the chance to impress as England aim for back-to-back World Cup semi-finals, though remains delighted to have experienced travelling to a major tournament with his country.

"Involvement isn't always necessarily minutes on the pitch and I think that is probably something I've learnt in the last few weeks of being out here," he added.

"Of course, every player wants to play and I'm no different. I'm desperate to get out there and show what I can do. But it's one of them – my first major tournament at senior level and it's brilliant to be a part of.

"It's such a learning curve and you gain so much experience without even realising, just on a day-to-day basis of how it works, what it takes to be successful – and we have been successful so far.

"I'm feeling good, the injury's gone. I'm feeling 100 per cent. I've been training for a while now, I've been available for the last couple of games.

"It's just about staying patient, staying ready, which I am. Working hard and trying to be an option for the manager if needed."

Kyle Walker can counter Kylian Mbappe when England face France in the World Cup quarter-finals as the Manchester City star is "the best right-back in the world" to face the forward, according to Gary Neville.

The Three Lions set up a last-eight match with Les Bleus after seeing off Senegal with a 3-0 victory inspired by Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden.

Gareth Southgate's side will face one of the toughest tests in world football against Didier Deschamps' defending champions, particularly with Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe in fearsome form.

But Neville feels England are well-equipped to keep him quiet, pointing to Walker as the key man who can thwart the threat posed by the 23-year-old.

"I think we have the best right-back in the world to be able to deal with Kylian Mbappe," the former England and Manchester United full-back told Sky Sports. "In terms of physicality, pace and experience, I can't think of anyone better to match Mbappe than Kyle Walker.

"That's not to say he'll keep him quiet for 90 minutes as Mbappe is sensational and special. But we have a chance as Walker can match him in certain areas."

Qatar 2022 marks the third successive tournament at which England have made the quarter-finals, having been beaten semi-finalists at Russia 2018 before losing the Euro 2020 final on penalties. 

Neville was part of the England side that reached the Euro 1996 semis, while he was also in the squad that suffered quarter-final shoot-out losses to Portugal at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.

Nevertheless, he is all too aware of the rarity of the occasion for Southgate's squad, adding: "It's a game of a lifetime on Saturday.

"When I think back to my own career, these games are once-or-twice-in-a-lifetime opportunities. They don't come around in your life very often."

In facing the reigning holders, Neville believes the pressure will be off, with defeat not likely to be considered an upset in the way a loss to Senegal would have been.

"I don't think the lads will be able to wait for it," he added. "This is a game we can lose we know that, they are world champions and a fantastic team.

"I always think you can go and enjoy games like this as there is less pressure than playing against Senegal. As if you get knocked out there, all hell breaks loose."

Harry Kane was named in England's starting XI for Tuesday's World Cup clash with Wales, with Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford and Kyle Walker also coming into the team.

Gareth Southgate gave little away on Monday when asked if Kane, who has been struggling with a foot injury, would feature from the off at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

England's progress from Group B would be assured with a point against Wales, who would need to win by at least three goals if they are to qualify, depending on the outcome of Iran v United States in the other match.

Kane has only scored three times in 10 games for England in 2022, with all those goals coming from the penalty spot. 

Southgate has made four changes from England's last game.

Foden did not come on in the goalless draw with the USA, with Southgate's decision not to call on the Manchester City star drawing criticism from some quarters, but the youngster has replaced Bukayo Saka, while Sterling has made way for Rashford.

Kyle Walker, meanwhile, makes his first start of the tournament, with the full-back having recovered from a groin injury he suffered in October, and Jordan Henderson got the nod over Mason Mount.

Wales boss Rob Page, meanwhile, has made three changes from the side he started in the 2-0 defeat to Iran.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off in that match and has been replaced by Leicester City's Danny Ward.

Midfielder Joe Allen and Fulham winger Dan James also came in for the Dragons, with Connor Roberts and Harry Wilson dropping to the bench.

Pep Guardiola's new contract with Manchester City will see him remain at the Etihad Stadium until 2025, when he will mark nine years at the club.

The Catalan coach has already remained in the Premier League for longer than he has at his previous roles with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, finding a home within English football and establishing a dominant force with his City side.

Throughout his six and a half years in charge so far, Guardiola has been in charge of numerous superstars and club legends, with an all-time squad that would be of envy for any manager in world football.

But how exactly do you break that down into a full XI? Stats Perform has taken on the task and done exactly that.

Ederson

Guardiola made a bold choice upon his arrival in Manchester, swiftly making it clear England international Joe Hart, a two-time Premier League winner, would not fit into his plans moving forward. After a disappointing season with Claudio Bravo, Ederson arrived in 2017 and has been number one ever since.

All of Ederson's 260 appearances across all competitions have come as a starter, higher than any other player under Guardiola, while he sits fifth in the list for total appearances under the Catalan boss.

Kyle Walker

Signed from Tottenham Hotspur in 2017, Kyle Walker has been a mainstay in the City side that has dominated domestic football over the course of the past five years, ranking fifth for the most starts under Guardiola in all competitions (207).

Walker's versatility has been a key benefit for Guardiola and England, with his attacking play also fitting into City's style of play well. Since arriving at City, Walker has contributed 17 assists across all competitions, behind only Joao Cancelo (20) among defenders.

Aymeric Laporte

Among defenders during Guardiola's spell in charge, only John Stones and Walker have started more games than Laporte (155), with both players having joined the club in the seasons before Laporte's arrival from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018.

A total of 163 appearances across all competitions puts him narrowly ahead of Nicolas Otamendi (161) for most games under Guardiola.

John Stones

Snapped up in 2016 as one of Guardiola's first signings, Stones has had to contend with incredible competition for his spot at the heart of the defence, with the likes of Laporte, Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake all drafted in.

Despite that, Stones continues to be an important player for City and has made 175 starts under Guardiola and 206 appearances overall, ranking second in both among defenders behind only Walker.

Joao Cancelo

The versatile Portuguese full-back moved to City in 2019 from Juventus and has excelled for City, tallying 149 total appearances and 135 starts in all competitions since joining the club, and provides a huge boost in the attacking third.

A total of 20 assists puts him above any defender during Guardiola's spell in charge, even those who have been at the club far longer.

Kevin de Bruyne

Few players fit the Guardiola philosophy more than De Bruyne, who has hit new heights under the former Barcelona boss to stand among the finest players in world football – with a record in front of goal that many would envy.

De Bruyne has registered 117 assists under Guardiola, way ahead of second-place Raheem Sterling (66), while he has scored 73 goals – only behind Gabriel Jesus, Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

Ilkay Gundogan

With 205 starts under Guardiola, the midfielder has been an integral part of the City side since following the Catalan from Germany to Manchester, ranking only behind Walker, David Silva, Sterling, De Bruyne and Ederson in that regard.

Only six players have scored more goals under Guardiola than Gundogan (51), who ranks ninth for the most assists (33).

Fernandinho

The rock of City's midfield for years, Fernandinho started 200 games under Guardiola and made a total of 244 appearances, the latter seeing him rank behind only Ederson, Bernardo Silva, Gundogan, De Bruyne and Sterling.

A total of 12 goals and 16 assists in those matches represents a decent return for a player renowned more for his defensive strength.

Bernardo Silva

Slotting into the attack ahead of Phil Foden and David Silva, both of whom have a stellar record under Guardiola, Bernardo Silva narrowly gets the nod due to his own impressive numbers in the final third.

Silva has 104 direct goal contributions (50 goals, 54 assists) in 273 appearances, starting in 208 of those matches. Only Sterling and De Bruyne have more assists under Guardiola, while Silva is one of eight players to hit the half-century mark for goals.

Sergio Aguero

In the future, Aguero's spot in the team is likely to be under significant threat from Erling Haaland following his blistering start to life at City, but the Argentine superstar retains the edge for the time being.

Aguero scored 124 goals under Guardiola, more than any other player, with Sterling the only other to have broken the century mark. Those goals came in just 183 appearances with Guardiola in charge, displaying his deadly ability in front of the net.

Raheem Sterling

An unsung hero of the Guardiola era, Sterling played 292 times under the Catalan boss, more than anyone else, while only Aguero scored more goals than Sterling (120).

Sterling also contributed 66 assists under Guardiola, sitting behind only De Bruyne, and is the only player to have scored over 100 goals and added over 50 assists under the Catalan boss.

Kyle Walker will miss England's first World Cup group game against Iran on Monday, but says he will be "ready to go" after that.

The Manchester City defender has not featured for club or country since undergoing groin surgery six weeks ago, but was still selected in Gareth Southgate's 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar.

England's first match against Iran comes too soon for Walker, but the 32-year-old feels he will be fit to play in the Three Lions' second group game against the United States on November 25.

"To represent your country at a tournament is a great achievement due to the circumstances leading up to it," Walker told ITV Football.

"Just because of the injury, it was an operation I had and it was touch a go.

"But it's full credit to the physios, getting me back fit and healthy. I was never worried, I have to believe in myself. I was confident, just about, making sure I prepared right on and off the field.

"If selected, then that's down to the manager, the first game is a bit too short, but from then onwards I'll be good and ready to go."

Walker trained for England on Wednesday alongside City team-mate Kalvin Phillips, who himself was an injury doubt for the tournament having undergone shoulder surgery in September.

James Maddison is expected to be available for the fixture with Iran, despite limping off in his final club match with Leicester City before joining up with England.

Gareth Southgate says it may have been perceived as "arrogant" to select Reece James for England at the World Cup with "too many unknowns" over his recovery from injury.

The Chelsea full-back was left out of England's 26-man squad for the World Cup, which starts on November 20 in Qatar, after being sidelined since October 11 with a knee issue.

James sustained the injury in a Champions League clash with Milan and, despite no initial concern, scans revealed damaged ligaments could keep him out for up to eight weeks.

The 22-year-old still hoped to make England's travelling party but Three Lions manager Southgate opted to leave the right-back out due to the unknown nature of his recovery.

"We had to make a very difficult call with Reece, who is a fantastic player," Southgate said.

"He was not going to be available – if everything went perfectly – until the latter stages of the tournament and there were too many unknowns for us on that road to recovery."

Kyle Walker was still selected despite not playing since limping off in Manchester City's derby-day victory over Manchester United on October 2.

Southgate suggested Walker has made more encouraging progression in his recovery as he claimed including James may not be looked upon favourably due to issues over his group-stage availability.

"I do not think we can take a player who is not available for the group stage, that would be deemed arrogant in some circles," the 52-year-old added.

"But if everything went well and he was available, we would be dropping him into a quarter-final after eight weeks out. That would be really demanding. So it was a tough call.

"Kyle is a long way ahead of that and is progressing really well."

England face Iran in their World Cup opener before Group B fixtures against the United States and Wales.

Gareth Southgate has recalled James Maddison and Callum Wilson to his England squad for the World Cup, with Kyle Walker also featuring.

Maddison has been in superb form for Leicester City this season, though his only previous cap for the Three Lions came in November 2019.

Yet his six Premier League goals and four assists have persuaded Southgate to hand the playmaker a recall along with Newcastle United striker Wilson, though like Maddison the last of his caps came three years ago.

Wilson and Maddison join Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Sako and Harry Kane, the winner of the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup, as the forwards heading to Qatar.

There is no room however for Tammy Abraham, who scored 27 goals for Roma last season but has managed just four this term, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jadon Sancho and Ivan Toney also miss out.

Brentford striker Toney was included in Southgate's squad for England's September internationals, yet has not made the cut for Qatar despite being the Premier League's highest-scoring English player this season after Kane.

In defence, Southgate has been able to call on Manchester City defender Walker, who has been recovering from a groin issue, though Chelsea duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell are unavailable due to injury.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw have been called up, though Fikayo Tomori – a Serie A champion with Milan – and Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi have missed out.

Ben White's form for Arsenal has seen him named alongside Conor Coady, Eric Dier, John Stones and Harry Maguire, who has struggled for minutes at Manchester United under Erik ten Hag, though Southgate has stood by the 29-year-old.

Jude Bellingham's terrific season continues as he heads to his second major international tournament, while Kalvin Phillips has been selected after having surgery to fix a shoulder problem last month. 

Jordan Pickford was superb in England's run to the semi-finals in Russia and to their progression to the final at Euro 2020, with Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale also picked.

England squad:

Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle United), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal); Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham); Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), James Maddison (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Callum Wilson (Newcastle United).

Pep Guardiola is unsure if Erling Haaland will feature against Chelsea, but midfielder Kalvin Phillips will be part of the squad for Wednesday's EFL Cup third-round tie.

Haaland returned from a two-game injury absence as a second-half substitute against Fulham at the weekend and scored a late penalty to snatch a 2-1 victory for his side.

However, the Norway international – who boasts 23 goals in 17 appearances for City – has still not fully recovered from the foot injury and may sit out the visit of Chelsea.

"He is still not perfect," Guardiola said at Tuesday's pre-match press conference. "We'll see tomorrow [Wednesday] and on Saturday [against Brentford]. He is getting better. 

"What's important is the bone isn't broken so there's no damage, just the ligament is damaged a bit. It's not perfect right now, but in one week or 10 days anything can happen."

Haaland is expected to be called up by Norway for this month's friendlies with Republic of Ireland and Finland, but Guardiola says that will depend on the striker's fitness.

"If he feels good, to play for the national team is important for the players," Guardiola said. "I have no problem for players when they are fit to play for the national team."

Wednesday's match will come too soon for England defender Kyle Walker, who remains a World Cup doubt, but international colleague Phillips will be available.

Phillips has played just 13 minutes since joining from Leeds United during the close season, owing to a shoulder injury that required surgery.

Despite his lack of playing time, the midfielder remains hopeful of being included as part of Gareth Southgate's 26-man squad for Qatar 2022, which will be named on Thursday.

Asked if he believes Phillips will be ready to play a part for England in Qatar, Guardiola said: "That is up to Gareth Southgate. I cannot answer, I don't know what the plan is. 

"I think they are communicating with the physios and doctors – the club and the English national team. Apart from that I cannot answer you, I don't know."

City have won the EFL Cup four times under Guardiola and advanced from each of their past nine third-round ties in the competition, scoring 34 goals in that period.

Meanwhile, Guardiola's side have won 10 of their past 14 home matches against Chelsea in all competitions, most recently winning 1-0 in the league in January.

City are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League and are two points behind Arsenal in the Premier League, with the FA Cup set to start in two months' time.

However, in a week his side posted an annual profit of £41.7million, up from £2.4m in the previous year, Guardiola insists he is not looking to strengthen in the January window.

"We are not going to do that," he said. "We have the squad we have, we are pleased and that's all."

Pep Guardiola has revealed Kalvin Phillips could be back in Manchester City action before England fly out to the World Cup.

The City manager disclosed midfielder Phillips will be a substitute for City's EFL Cup game against Chelsea on Wednesday.

Although he has not promised Phillips will come off the bench, the former Leeds United star is now at the stage of his recovery from a shoulder injury where first-team duty is a possibility once more.

The news will be cautiously welcomed by England boss Gareth Southgate, for whom Phillips has been a key figure when fit.

Guardiola said Phillips took part in a full training session on Friday and "felt good".

“Against Chelsea he will be on the bench, whether to play or not I don't know, but he will be on the bench. Kalvin is much better," Guardiola said.

Kyle Walker, who underwent groin surgery four weeks ago, is another City player looking to prove his fitness ahead of England's Qatar 2022 trip.

"I spoke with Kyle and he feels good too, but his surgery was later than Kalvin, that's why I don’t know," Guardiola said.

Southgate would ideally want both Phillips and Walker on the plane, but only if they are in shape to make a full contribution, and doubts remain over both players for now.

Guardiola is making no promises, saying: "I don't know. I spoke with Gareth Southgate 10 or 12 days ago.

"We had a chat, a coffee, him and his assistant, and we talked about them, he spoke with them and the doctors.

"He asked [about Kalvin and Kyle] and I said, 'I don't know, I'm not a doctor'."

Guardiola savoured his team's win against Fulham on Saturday, when substitute Erling Haaland's stoppage-time penalty secured a 2-1 home success.

City had played from 10 men from the 26th minute onwards after Joao Cancelo was red-carded for bundling over Harry Wilson to give away a spot-kick, which Andreas Pereira converted to cancel out Julian Alvarez's early opener.

Guardiola said his remaining players were "exceptional" and made him "so, so proud".

He reserved special praise for man of the match Kevin De Bruyne, saying the Belgian playmaker "put the team on his shoulders".

According to Guardiola, Cancelo should not have felt the need to clatter into Wilson and should have put his trust in goalkeeper Ederson.

"He deserved the red," Guardiola said, according to City's official website. "I say many times to all the players, outside the box after 85 minutes make a foul. But [at that stage of the game], let them score. Okay 1-1, penalty 1-1, but 10 v 11 is too much.

"Hopefully we can learn, not Joao, all of us. It happens in football - if you lose the duel with the striker, it can happen, rely on Eddie, he can save it."

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