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Gareth Southgate’s provisional England squad includes Danny Welbeck and ‘three wildcards’

Gareth Southgate is set to name his England squad for the World Cup next Thursday but Danny Welbeck and Brighton team-mate Lewis Dunk is in the initial 55-man contingent

Danny Welbeck has been included in Gareth Southgate’s 55-man provisional England squad for the World Cup.

The 31-year-old hasn’t found the net in 11 matches for Brighton this season but has been selected by Southgate in the initial longlist for Qatar alongside team-mate Lewis Dunk. Southgate is set to select his 26-man contingent for Qatar next Thursday – just 11 days before the Three Lions’ opening group game against Iran.

Welbeck has 42 senior caps but hasn’t been called up to the England squad since the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he made just one appearance against Belgium at the tournament. Meanwhile, Dunk has one cap to his name, having started England’s 3-0 win over USA at Wembley back in 2018.

According to The Athletic, Welbeck and Dunk are included in the 55-man squad, which will trimmed next week, as Southgate gets his side ready for the competition in the Middle-East. The Brighton duo helped the Seagulls to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Chelsea on the weekend and currently sit eighth after 12 games.

Meanwhile, James Maddison, Eberechi Eze and Callum Wilson have also been named in the long list and remain outsiders to be called up in Southgate’s main squad.

As per the Daily Mail, all three players have done enough to make Southgate’s 55-man contingent that was submitted to FIFA last month but there aren’t expected to be too many surprises to how the 26-man Three Lions squad will shape-up.

Leicester City midfielder Maddison has been in excellent form for the Foxes so far this term, scoring six times and chipping in with two assists in the Premier League. However, it is understood the 25-year-old is expected to miss out on selection for the tournament. This is despite netting the second-most goals out of any English top-flight player since the start of last season (24) – only behind Harry Kane (38).

Eze, another talented midfielder, has also began the season in impressive fashion and has sparked in a young Crystal Palace team.

Although the 24-year-old has grabbed just two goals and two assists in 12 games, he has often performed superbly with his close-control and knowledge of the game which has seen him become a mainstay in the Palace XI.

Lastly, Wilson is no doubt making a late dart to get in the England squad with a handful of excellent performances for Newcastle United. The Coventry-born attacker struggled with injuries at the start of the season but has scored four goals in his last six appearances – including a brace against Aston Villa on Saturday.

With Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham also excelling, it could be difficult for Wilson to force his way into Southgate’s plans, although he isn’t doing any harm with his current form.

Meanwhile, the fitness of Bukayo Saka, Reece James and Kyle Walker could determine whether Maddison or Eze can slot into the squad.

England World Cup 55-man preliminary squad


Nick Pope (Newcastle United)
Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest)
Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Fraser Forster (Tottenham)
Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace)


Harry Maguire (Manchester United)
Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
John Stones (Manchester City)
Eric Dier (Tottenham)
Kieran Tripper (Newcastle United)
Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Ben Chilwell (Chelsea)
Conor Coady (Everton)
Fikayo Tomoro (AC Milan)
Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace)
Benjamin White (Arsenal)
Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)
Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton)


Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Declan Rice (West Ham)
Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Jude Belliingham (Borussia Dortmund)
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City)
Conor Gallagher (Chelsea)
Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal)
Jesse Lingard (Nottingham Forest)
James Maddison (Leicester City)
Harvey Elliott (Liverpool)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek


Raheem Sterling (Chelsea)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Jack Grealish (Manchester City)
Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Tammy Abraham (Roma)
Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)
Ivan Toney (Brentford)
Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Jadon Sancho (Manchester United)


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