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England omit Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho out of Nations League squad; Ivan Toney selected


Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho face missing this year’s World Cup after being left out of Gareth Southgate’s last England squad before the finals begin in November.

Southgate named a 28-man squad on Thursday for UEFA Nations League matches against Italy and Germany later this month, which included a first call-up for Brentford’s Ivan Toney and the recalls of Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell and Tottenham’s Eric Dier.

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Manchester United’s Harry Maguire kept his place and Luke Shaw was brought back in despite both finding themselves marginalised under Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford but two other United players who have shown signs of rediscovering their best in recent weeks were omitted.

Rashford was already a doubt with a thigh problem but Sancho is available and was hopeful of a return to the senior setup after an upturn in form which featured goals against Liverpool and Leicester City.

Sancho’s last call-up came in October 2021 while Rashford has been overlooked since November last year.

Shaw is a fitness doubt with a foot problem while Kyle Walker has also been selected despite missing Manchester City’s Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund with a muscular problem.

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford misses out with a thigh problem and is replaced by Dean Henderson, who has thrived at Nottingham Forest on loan from United, while Chilwell is back in the group for the first time since November 2021 having suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury which sidelined him for most of last season.

Dier last featured for England in November 2020 and has not been selected for a squad since March last year but the 28-year-old has begun the season in encouraging fashion at Spurs under Antonio Conte.

Those dropped from Southgate’s last squad in June include Arsenal’s Ben White, Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher and Leicester City’s James Justin.

The players to miss out will be sweating on their place for the finals in Qatar with just over two months until England’s first game against Iran on November 21.

FIFA rules allow countries to select an expanded 26-man group for the finals to give managers the chance for extra contingency planning should a player test positive for COVID-19. Southgate is expected to name his finals squad on Monday 14 November.

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