Former England captain David Beckham has backed the Three Lions to go all the way in Qatar, despite a woeful sequence of results this year.

Gareth Southgate's side head to the World Cup after failing to win any of their six Nations League matches and suffering relegation from the top tier of the UEFA competition.

That run is England's longest winless streak in almost 30 years, while it also marks the worst run of form the side has ever faced before a major international tournament.

Despite that and rising pressure on Southgate, Beckham believes England have the capability to win the World Cup for the first time since 1966.

"I will always say England. It's going to be difficult but the fact we are now going into a big competition like the World Cup, only playing 25 games in the season, player energy will be up, they won't be injured," he told Sky Sports.

"They've not played 60 games in a season, so I think they are going to be ready. We have a big opportunity.

"Gareth Southgate has done an incredible job with the players. The unity, which I think is a big part of it, we saw that in the Euros. My prediction is that, hopefully, England will go all the way, but it is not going to be easy."

England begin their campaign on November 21 against Iran, then facing the United States and Wales in Group B.

Mitchell Marsh will return to the batting order when Australia step up their T20 World Cup preparations against West Indies on Wednesday, captain Aaron Finch has confirmed.

Meanwhile, Marcus Stoinis is expected to return for Sunday's opening T20I against England, having joined Marsh in missing the recent tour of India.

Marsh has not featured since an ODI outing against Zimbabwe in August after sustaining an ankle injury, leaving Cameron Green to deputise throughout last month's 2-1 series defeat in India.

While Marsh will not bowl against the Windies, Finch believes a place at number three is his to lose, saying: "One-hundred per cent, he's made that spot his own in T20 cricket. 

"I think the way that he played in the lead-up and then through the World Cup [last year] is so important for the way that we want to play and gives us a lot of flexibility through that middle order.

"I think he had his second bowl yesterday and he felt really good. He pulled up well from it. So that's a really positive sign.

"I think for the balance of the side, it's better when they [Marsh and Stoinis] are both bowling because you can get caught a little bit short if you go in with five bowlers. But we'll work that out."

Having suffered a side strain in early September, Stoinis has not travelled to the Gold Coast for Australia's meetings with the Windies, but will join the squad in Perth for the first of three matches against England.

Finch is hopeful over Stoinis' fitness, highlighting the role of logistics in that decision as he added: "He's at a level where we think that he'll be fully fit for that first game against England.

"We were just conscious of the travel with a quick turnaround. It can be quite a high-risk game for some guys with some soft tissue injuries so he's just still planning and preparing there. 

"He's such an important part of our side and the make-up of it, especially with his bowling."

While Green performed well in India, recording scores of 62 and 52, Finch doubts whether he can force his way into Australia's 15 for the World Cup if Marsh and Stoinis stay fit.

"I don't think so," Finch added. "It's just one of those things. He had a really good tour of India. It was good for him to get an opportunity to open the batting.

"I think he'll get an opportunity at some point in this series. Obviously his batting is exceptional and he shows a lot with the ball. 

"He keeps improving every time he gets an opportunity but over the next few weeks, he'll get a run, no doubt."

Australia begin their World Cup defence against neighbours New Zealand on October 22

Dawid Malan propelled England to a series-clinching victory in the seventh T20I as Pakistan suffered a crushing 67-run defeat in Lahore.

After England posted 209-3, Pakistan made 142-8, showing dismally little interest in the chase after losing three early wickets. It meant Moeen Ali's tourists won 4-3 in their first series in Pakistan for 17 years.

Malan played a terrific innings as England topped the 10-runs-an-over rate, with the left-hander cracking 78 not out from 47 balls, the sixth time that Malan has scored more than 75 in a T20I. Pakistan were generous in the field, including a let-off for Malan at the start of the penultimate over when Mohammad Wasim dropped a steepler.

With Ben Duckett clubbing 30 from 19 balls and Harry Brook clearing the ropes four times in 46no from 29 balls, it meant Pakistan faced a tall order.

It immediately looked beyond them when captain Babar Azam (4) and fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan (1) fell in the opening eight balls of the reply, and Iftikhar Ahmed (19) did not last long either.

Pakistan were nowhere near the required run rate from the early stages, and their lack of urgency made it a subdued contest, with the result meaning they have now lost five and drawn two of their seven T20I multi-game series against England. Shan Masood top-scored with 56 for the beaten hosts.

Willey joins England elite in passing landmark

Needing two wickets to reach 50 in T20I matches, David Willey (2-22) reached that target by removing Iftikhar and Wasim. It made him the fifth England player to reach 50 T20I wickets, after Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.

Wasim woe

Wasim went for 0-61 from the four overs he sent down, including giving up 20 runs in the 20th over. Those were his most expensive figures in a T20I, with this his 15th match in the format. The previous most runs he had conceded in a four-over stint came when he took 2-44 against West Indies in Karachi last December.

Phil Salt is "grateful for the backing" he has received after starring for England in their eight-wicket victory over Pakistan.

Having struggled in his previous five innings in England's seven-match T20I series, when managing just 59 runs, Salt hit a blistering 88 not out from 41 deliveries on Friday.

Salt reached a half-century in 19 balls – the third-fastest by an England player in the format – as the tourists levelled up the series at 3-3 in Lahore.

That set up a decider on Sunday, when Salt will have another chance to underline his credentials to retain his spot at the top of the order at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

"I'm very grateful for the backing I've got from my team-mates and the management. It's very clear the way they want me to play," the 26-year-old said.

"The way I play is aggressive and I want to win as many games as possible while I'm in an England shirt. 

"The first few games haven't gone to plan – I've been finding ways to get out, hitting fielders or whatever – but it's nice to come up with a performance like that in a big game.

“It's always a challenge at the top of the order when you feel like you're playing well but you're picking out fielders and finding ways to get out.

"It was definitely [my best T20 innings] and it was nice to do it with the series in the balance."

With Jos Buttler due to return from injury in time for the World Cup, Salt is realistically in competition with Alex Hales over partnering the white-ball skipper.

"You need competition. The best sides in the world have competition and you can't get away from that – it's the same in any sport," Salt added.

"Everyone is trying to put their best foot forwards and show the coaching team and the team-mates how good they are.

"I'm not looking too far into the future; I'm just focused on the next game in a couple of days' time."

Salt's destruction of the Pakistan attack came after home captain Babar Azam had hit an unbeaten 87 to set England a target of 170 for victory.

Babar became the first Pakistan batter to reach 3,000 T20I runs during his half-century, doing so in the absence of the rested Mohammad Rizwan.

He is the fifth men's player to reach that milestone in the format and the joint-quickest to do so alongside India great Virat Kohli.

Reflecting on what was ultimately a disappointing day for his side, however, Babar said: "After losing a couple of early wickets, we thought 170 was a good score. 

"Maybe we were 10 runs or so short, but the way Salt batted in the first four or five overs, they took the game away from us. 

"The way they used the powerplay was the turnaround today. I think the middle-order needs to step up, they need to take responsibility."

Phil Salt hit a blistering 88 as England beat Pakistan by eight wickets on Friday to level up their seven-match T20I series at 3-3 in Lahore.

Pakistan recovered from a slow start that saw them 15-2 at one point to post 169-6 at the Gaddafi Stadium, thanks in large to the brilliant Babar Azam (87 not out).

But England made easy work of the chase as they reached 100 from seven overs to set up a decider on Sunday.

Without in-form Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan initially struggled as Mohammad Haris (7) and Shan Masood (0) fell early on, leaving Babar to do much of the leg work.

Haider Ali (18), Iftikhar Ahmed (31) and Asif Ali took their side to 136-4, but the latter upper cut to Reece Topley for nine runs and Mohammad Nawaz (12) followed soon after.

Babar's 87 did at least give England something to think about, but Salt and Alex Hales put on an opening partnership of 55 off 23 balls, before the latter was removed for 27.

Salt reached his half-century off just 19 balls en route to an unbeaten 88, including the decisive shot as England posted 170-2 to level things up.

Babar brilliance not enough

Pakistan were without run machine Rizwan but Babar stepped up with 87 runs off 59 balls, which included three sixes and seven fours.

Babar surpassed a milestone 3,000 T20I runs in the process, yet it was not enough to steer the hosts to an unassailable series lead.

England ease to victory

The tourists were set 170 to avoid a third successive T20I defeat to Pakistan for the first time ever and had no trouble in reaching that target.

Only once before – against New Zealand in November 2019 (6.4 overs in a game reduced by rain to 11 overs) – have England previously reached 100 from seven overs.

Salt played a key part in that as he underlined his credentials to partner Jos Buttler at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Emile Heskey believes Gareth Southgate should be given the chance to turn England's fortunes around after relegation from League A in the Nations League.

The Three Lions' manager has come in for criticism after his team finished bottom of Group 3, failing to win any of their six outings against Italy, Hungary and Germany (D3 L3).

With the World Cup in Qatar kicking off in less than two months, the pressure is on Southgate to deliver, though he did guide England to the semi-finals in Russia in 2018 before reaching the final of the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament last year.

Heskey – who made 62 appearances for England – thinks Southgate and his players can turn it around and can take positives from their 3-3 draw with Germany at Wembley on Monday.

Speaking to Stats Perform, the former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker said: "I think the draw against Germany did redeem [England] in some cases.

"I thought the fight they showed was fantastic to get it back to 3-2 because they could easily have given up at 2-0 [down]. But they fought back to make it 3-2 and then 3-3, obviously.

"Football has always fascinated me [because] we put no pressure on them, and [then] they get to a semi-final and a final, then we suddenly heap a load of pressure on them and you can see what's happening."

Prior to the six-goal thriller with Germany, England had failed to score with any of their previous 62 non-penalty shots, a run of seven hours and 30 minutes without a non-penalty goal.

Southgate's men are also winless in their last six games in all competitions, their longest run since April to June 1993 (also six). It is their longest ever winless run going into a major tournament.

"When you're not doing well, they're going to justify criticism, and you've got to accept that criticism. It's how you bounce back from that," Heskey added.

"None of these have turned into bad players overnight, and the manager isn't a bad manager overnight. I think you've got to give him the opportunity to turn it around and turn the fortune of the players around as well."

One of the concerns widely discussed has been whether Southgate knows his best team before they take on Iran, the United States and Wales in Group B at the World Cup, but Heskey pointed out selection headaches mean the manager has a number of credible options available to him.

"You could put it either way," he said. "It could be alarming, or it could be a good thing that we don't know the best 11 because players are coming in.

"You've even got Ivan Toney coming into the [last] squad... [Mason] Mount's played a lot of games and then come back in and scored.

"So it's always good to keep the manager on his toes. But you really should know who your starting 11 is coming up to a major tournament."

England stand-in captain Moeen Ali described his team's batting performance as "disappointing" after their six-run defeat to Pakistan, who now lead the seven-match T20I series 3-2.

Mark Wood (3-20) removed half of Pakistan's top six as England bowled out the hosts for 145 runs in 19 overs in Lahore, a reasonably low score considering Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with 63 off 46 balls.

However, England were unable to chase Pakistan's total down despite Moeen making a half-century off just 35 balls, not aided by finding themselves 31-3 after five overs.

And Moeen was frustrated with his team's display, telling reporters: "Of all the games so far, this was the most disappointing, the way we batted in particular.

"Obviously I'm disappointed we didn't chase those runs. I feel we're a better team than that. You have to see the situation of the game, and the conditions.

"All we needed was one partnership, a 60-70 run partnership would have won the game. We want to play this brand that is attacking but you also have to see the situation of the game and the conditions, things like that."

Moeen also spoke of his admiration of Rizwan while also reserving praise for Pakistan's debutant seamer Aamir Jamal, who bowled superbly in the last over to restrict England to seven runs when 15 would have won them the match.

"He's [Rizwan] a brilliant player, so hard to stop and so busy. He's somebody we can learn a lot off," Moeen added.

"He saw the situation and adapted today. He took the risks when he needed to and played properly when he needed to.

"[Jamal] was on debut, nervous, but he bowled really well.

"Two big hits and you’re done. I got one but unfortunately couldn't manage to get the other one. Sometimes you've just got to give it to him, it was a good last over."

Debutant Aamir Jamal helped Pakistan to a six-run victory over England in an absorbing contest as the hosts opened up a 3-2 lead in the seven-match T20I series.

The hosts were all out for 145 in 19 overs in Lahore, with Mark Wood (3-20) leading the way for England, who fell just short despite Moeen Ali's half-century off 35 balls.

Jamal claimed his maiden international wicket on just the second ball of his career and, under immense pressure, the youngster held his nerve to steer Pakistan to a tense win.

Wood's fierce pace had put England in command as he removed half of Pakistan's top six, with Babar Azam (9), Haider Ali (4) and Asif Ali (5) failing to reach double figures.

Mohammad Rizwan top-scored for Pakistan with 63 from 46 – his fourth half-century this series – but David Willey (2-23) and Sam Curran (2-23) restricted the home side's total.

Chris Woakes, making his first appearance since March, wrapped things up thanks to a swipe from Haris Rauf (8) as England were set a more-than-gettable target of 146.

However, opener Alex Hales went inside five balls for just a single run and fellow opener Phil Salt (3) pulled a short ball straight into the hands of Rauf soon after.

The tourists struggled for momentum, with Harry Brook (4) and Dawid Malan (36) trapped lbw after Ben Duckett (10) spooned Mohammad Wasim's short ball to Shan Masood.

Curran (17) sliced Jamal's second ball to Wasim as England chased boundaries, with Woakes (10) close behind, but Moeen kept his side ticking along.

England required 15 from the final six balls and would have forced a super over had David Willey cleared the boundary off the last ball, but it was not to be as Jamal held his nerve.

Former Germany defender Jerome Boateng has laughed off criticism of the national team ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, joking there are "80 million national coaches".

Germany's 3-3 Nations League draw with England on Monday meant they finished third in Group A3, having won just one of their six matches.

Their shaky recent performances and failure to reach the Nations League's final four have led to questions being asked of manager Hansi Flick.

But Boateng, who played 76 times for Germany between 2009 and 2018, believes fans should reserve judgement of the team until the World Cup is over.

"Shortly before the World Cup we have 80 million national coaches again," Boateng wrote in an Instagram story, alongside a laughing emoji.

"We have a strong team, we can beat any opponent and become world champions. We have young players in all positions.

"How about approaching the World Cup in a positive way and not criticising the team and bringing in unrest?

"Stay positive and support the team together. After the World Cup you can add your two cents again."

Declan Rice has described Jude Bellingham as "the future of English football", claiming his international midfield partner is the most talented 19-year-old he has ever seen.

Although England suffered relegation from the top tier of the Nations League last week, Bellingham has done no harm to his chances of starting at the upcoming World Cup during the international break. 

With Manchester City's Kalvin Phillips enduring an injury-blighted campaign, Bellingham started alongside Rice in matches against Italy and Germany, impressing in a box-to-box role.

In Monday's 3-3 draw with Germany, Bellingham led England's charts for passes completed (41), touches (67), touches in the opposition box (six), duels won (eight), tackles won, interceptions and fouls won (all three).

Rice believes the Borussia Dortmund star's all-round ability is unique for someone of his age, telling the Daily Mirror: "I don't think I've seen anyone as good as he is for 19.

"I look at a lot of 19-year-olds, whether it's at a club, around the world, around the country. To have the whole package is a hard thing and I feel like he's got that.

"He's 19 but he's got the body of a 28-year-old – he's a man. He thinks like a man, plays like a man and shows personality and character. 

"I've been around and played so many more games than he has in my career, but you can just tell as a 19-year-old what he brings to the team already, the energy he's got.

"He can play in a holding role, he can play as an eight, he can play as a 10.

"He's a man – you can see it when he plays for Dortmund. As a 19-year-old, you're normally scared to talk to the referee but he's in the referee's face demanding answers, demanding decisions and he leaves himself on the pitch constantly. 

"He really pushes you on the pitch. We push each other on and it's a privilege to play next to him.

"Every time I play with Jude, we're building that connection and I say to him; 'you go and bomb on and do your attacking stuff and I'll sit here and defend for you'. So we're getting that good connection, he's great to play with.

"Hopefully, he keeps flourishing. He's the future of English football to come for the next 15 years."

While Bellingham's individual displays have earned rave reviews, England will begin the World Cup – against Iran on November 21 – having gone six games without a win (D3 L3).

This is their longest such run going into a major tournament, but Rice believes the Three Lions were much improved against Germany, adding: "We're sticking with a formation that needs work and we're working on that in training all the time. 

"I feel like there's positive signs there. It's just a blip at the moment but that was a massive, positive step."

Steve Clarke believes there is more to come from his Scotland team after they earned promotion to the top tier of the Nations League via a 0-0 draw with Ukraine, leapfrogging rivals England following their relegation.

Scotland approached Tuesday's match – played in Krakow, Poland – needing just a point to top Group B1 following home wins over Ukraine and the Republic of Ireland last week.

Although they managed just one shot on target against Oleksandr Petrakov's team, Scotland produced a fine rearguard action to cling on for the result they craved – also earning a spot in pot two for October's Euro 2024 qualification draw.

Topping the table means Clarke's men are already assured of a play-off place for the next European Championship.

And with England picking up just three points from six games to finish bottom of Group A3, Scotland will begin the next Nations League campaign looking down on their old foes.

But Clarke was focused on his own side's continued development after the match, looking forward to more against Europe's elite.

"It is a big night," Clarke said. "We wanted to win the section. We wanted to show people what happened in the summer [when Scotland lost a World Cup play-off to Ukraine] wasn't us.

"We wanted to be better this week. We pressed the big button to reset and go again, and we came up with three fantastic performances, all different but all vital. 

"I sat down with my whole staff and said we had to set a different environment and be more demanding of the players, and we have to push that agenda.

"Then I sat with the players and went through what we thought we did well in the summer and what we didn't do so well.

"We gave them a lot of information to change the system and play a slightly different way. They took it on board, and we have had a really good week. 

"Now we are in pot two and in the A league – but we don't want to stop. We want to try and get better and better."

With Clarke's contract as Scotland head coach set to expire following Euro 2024, he joked that competing with Europe's finest in League A would not be his problem.

"That'll be the next head coach," he added. "My contract is up before then!"

Hansi Flick warned his Germany side individual errors will be "deadly" at the World Cup after an entertaining back-and-forth Nations League encounter against England at Wembley.

The visitors led by two goals after Ilkay Gundogan's penalty and Kai Havertz's expert long-range finish punished the Three Lions.

However, three goals in the space of 12 minutes from Luke Shaw, Mason Mount and Harry Kane had already-relegated England in front with seven minutes to play.

An error from goalkeeper Nick Pope allowed Havertz to make it 3-3 late on, but head coach Flick acknowledged Germany must be better at protecting a lead in Qatar.

"The result is very disappointing. I think we were very stable after 2-0 and we made individual mistakes, and you have to say that England brought in two fresh players who then also played a part in making England more effective offensively," Flick said.

"We made individual mistakes and that's why it's disappointing. 

"You have to look at the whole game and I think we did many things well, really well. In a phase where we got the three goals, that shouldn't happen to us, because especially at a World Cup, things like that are of course deadly and you're eliminated faster than you think. 

"Therefore, if you look at it positively, you simply have to say that we know what we can work on. 

"We'll analyse the game properly again because, of course, at first glance, I've seen the goals conceded, just once or twice now, and that's partly individual, where we sometimes made the mistakes. And everyone has to do their job over 90 minutes and we have to work on that."

Flick, though, was effusive in his praise of Bayern Munich star Jamal Musiala, who was a constant thorn in England's side and drew the foul from Harry Maguire for Germany's opener from the spot.

"Jamal just showed why he is an exceptional talent. He got us the second goal from in his own half and he's both defensive and offensive, I think he's a player that's good for us," Flick added.

"And simply by his dribbling ability, he can pull out situations like penalties, but of course also he can move opponents around, one or two players are out of position and then it's a different situation. 

"Then we have more room, more space and those are the things that are good for us."

Kai Havertz's late equaliser denied England a stunning comeback victory as Germany concluded their Nations League campaign with an entertaining 3-3 draw at Wembley.

After a goalless first half, Ilkay Gundogan broke the deadlock from the penalty spot, before Havertz doubled the lead with a stunning 25-yard effort.

But the Three Lions turned the contest on its head with three goals in the space of 12 minutes. Luke Shaw and substitute Mason Mount dragged the hosts level, before Harry Kane's penalty completed the turnaround.

However, Germany ensured a share of the spoils with three minutes remaining when Havertz tucked home from close range following a goalkeeping error from Nick Pope.

England captain Heather Knight has accused India of lying after Deepti Sharma claimed Charlie Dean had been warned before being subjected to a 'Mankad' at Lord's on Saturday.

India sealed a 16-run win and a 3-0 ODI series whitewash when Deepti did not go through with her delivery stride, instead whipping off the bails with Dean out of her ground backing up.

Dean had to be consoled after a dismissal that was within the laws, but sparked a huge debate with many believing Deepti was out of order for not acting within the spirit of the game.

Deepti claimed Dean had been warned about leaving her crease.

She said: "Nothing, it was our plan because she repeatedly... we had warned her also. We did it according to the rules and guidelines."

Asked if a warning had been issued, she added: "Yes, yes definitely we did say because we told the umpires. But still she was there so we couldn't do anything."

Knight, who was not playing in the game as she recovers from hip surgery, says that was not the case.

She tweeted: "The game is over, Charlie was dismissed legitimately. India were deserved winners of the match and the series. But no warnings were given. They don't need to be given, so it hasn't made the dismissal any less legitimate…

"But if they're comfortable with the decision to affect [sic] the run out, India shouldn't feel the need to justify it by lying about warnings."

India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur stated after the game in London that she was not aware that Deepti was planning to 'Mankad' Dean.

She said: "No, I wasn't aware. And that's what I'm saying. I'm actually happy [Deepti] was aware because she was bowling from both ends in the middle and she knew [Dean] was going and I think it was her awareness."

Danny Care has been left out of England's training squad ahead of the Autumn Nations Series but Manu Tuilagi and Sam Simmonds return.

Scrum-half Care featured in the Red Rose's series victory over Australia in July, but is not among the 36 players who will report for a three-day camp this weekend.

Centre Tuilagi and number eight Simmonds are back in the fold after recovering from injuries, while pivot Ben Youngs has been selected ahead of the November encounters with Argentina, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa.

Simmonds gets the nod amid reports that he could leave Exeter Chiefs to join Montpellier, a move that would make him ineligible to play for his country.

Locks Alex Coles and Hugh Tizard have been called up for the first time, while Alex Mitchell, Tom Pearson and David Ribbans are also included.

Courtney Lawes and Maro Itoje are among the absentees due to injury.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: "With a year to go to the Rugby World Cup, this is a big opportunity for players to come in and impress. We want them to show real energy and enthusiasm and that they want to be a part of this massive year.

"It doesn't mean that those who have been left out won't be considered for the Autumn Nations Series matches. We'll be looking at club games, form and fitness and the door is left open for those players.

"We finished the Australia tour well. It was a fantastic experience, particularly for the younger players. We now have to start again, but we'll build on what we've done there and continue that momentum."

 

England training squad:

Forwards: Ollie Chessum, Alex Coles, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Jonny Hill, Lewis Ludlam, Tom Pearson, David Ribbans, Bevan Rodd, Patrick Schickerling, Sam Simmonds, Will Stuart, Hugh Tizard, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Jack Walker, Jack Willis.

Backs: Henry Arundell, Joe Cokanasiga, Fraser Dingwall, Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Will Joseph, Jonny May, Alex Mitchell, Jack Nowelll, Guy Porter, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Ben Youngs.

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