Gareth Southgate knows 19 or 20 of his World Cup squad

With just a few months left until the World Cup, England boss Gareth Southgate has revealed that he knows 19 or 20 of the players that will be in the Three Lions squad for this summer’s big event in Russia.

After England’s 1-1 draw against Italy in a friendly international on Tuesday night, Southgate told Sky Sports: “There have been some strong performances from individuals that have cemented… not their place in the squad, 19 or 20 of those were pretty clear, (but) it’s often who are the next ones in if we get a problem in a particular area,”

Individuals have impressed

The likes of Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard and Jordan Pickford impressed in the recent friendly games. In fact, Pickford now looks in pole position to be the Three Lions ‘keeper in Russia.

Sterling was a likely starter for Southgate team at the World Cup due to his club form this season. However, impressive displays in a more central role seem to have given the England boss more options.

Manchester United star Jesse Lingard is enjoying his best season in professional football. The 25-year-old has transferred his club form to the international game.

Positive results of late

Southgate has been keen to stress that the recent results against the likes Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands and Italy have been positive. Three of those games finished in draws, but there now seems to be a newfound positivity around the England camp.

The fans low expectations have probably helped Southgate’s team of late, as there has been less pressure on the team to win every game.

England are not likely to win this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. However, many of the players in the Three Lions squad are young. This summer’s tournament could be a vital learning curve in the England team’s development for future competitions.

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