Gareth Southgate will soon have to appoint his preliminary World Cup squad, the tournament is now exactly a month away… but when is the deadline? How many players can he choose? And when is the official team announcement?
- Gareth Southgate announces his preliminary World Cup squad for England
- The long-serving coach has until Friday to announce his list of up to 55 players
- The World Cup is now a month away and starts on November 20
- Southgate will eventually have to reduce his team to between 23 and 26 players
- Click here for all the latest 2022 World Cup news and updates
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is now exactly a month away and England manager Gareth Southgate must make some tough decisions.
The long-serving coach will eventually have to reduce his roster to 26 players, but upfront Southgate will have the luxury of selecting between 35 and 55 candidates for his preliminary roster.
The deadline for that preliminary roster is now fast approaching and Sportsmail will take you through everything you need to know as the countdown to England’s first game against Iran on November 21 gets off to a good and real start.
Gareth Southgate has a deadline on Friday to submit his preliminary World Cup squad for England
When will Southgate designate his preliminary squad?
Southgate must submit his preliminary roster to FIFA by Friday, October 21, although the 52-year-old could reportedly announce this on Thursday.
But while Southgate is expected to announce his roster publicly, this is not a FIFA requirement, and some squads may be unknown until the week before the tournament officially kicks off.
Southgate, who has been in the role for over six years now, has between 35 and 55 players to select before making a final decision later.
Southgate can pick up a maximum of 55 players for its preliminary roster, which will then be reduced to 26
This upper limit of 55 has been raised from 35 four years ago to provide additional flexibility ahead of the tournament’s first-ever winter edition, with the domestic season coming to a halt.
Importantly, the final World Cup rosters can only consist of players on this preliminary list.
When is the final deadline?
All 32 teams will have to reduce their roster to between 23 and 26 players ahead of the World Cup.
Southgate will have to submit their official roster to FIFA by November 13, just a week before the tournament officially kicks off.
FIFA will then announce the official selection of each country the next day.
However, the English boss is expected to announce his roster as early as November 10.
Remarkably, the deadline is the same day as the Premier League officially comes to a halt, with the final match being Fulham vs Manchester United on November 13 at 4.30pm.
What do we know so far?
As Sportsmail reported on Wednesday, Eberechi Eze will be named in the preliminary roster as the Crystal Palace forward makes a late run for Qatar.
Eze is back on Gareth Southgate’s radar after an impressive start to the Premier League season with the Selhurst Park club.
Indeed, Eze was chosen in Southgate’s preliminary 33-man squad for the European Championship last year, but an Achilles tendon rupture robbed him of the chance to be named in the full match.
The 24-year-old will be joined by two of his Palace teammates in Marc Guehi and Tyrick Mitchell.
Eberechi Eze to be named in England’s expanded squad for the World Cup in Qatar
Liverpool’s Joe Gomez is also hopeful of being included in the England preliminary squad as Southgate faces a host of injury problems in defence.
Meanwhile, England is now sweating over the availability of star duo Reece James and Kyle Walker. James suffered a knee injury against Milan and is expected to be out for eight weeks after seeing a specialist.
This would put him out until the final stages of the tournament, although James has not given up hope of representing the Three Lions at the World Cup.
Kyle Walker faces a race against time to be fit for Qatar after groin surgery
In addition to Walker, who underwent surgery after sustaining a groin injury in the 6-3 win over rivals Manchester United, City are overseeing the return of John Stones and Kalvin Phillips.
There is good news, however, as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury earlier this month at Arsenal was not as bad as first feared.