FIFA 2022 World Cup: Protest Kits, Sobering Tents and Football Fans Unable to Watch Games On TV in Qatar

England national team coach Gareth Southgate was set to announce his squad longlist, or up to 55 players, to FIFA with the World Cup finals now less than a month away. 

The long list he will name will give hope to players battling to be fit for the tournament, as well as others who may be further down the Three Lions’ pecking order than they would have hoped to be.

The deadline for Southgate to name his preliminary squad has passed, and by all accounts, he has refused to make this list public.

The current betting odds on England to win the World Cup stand at around 17/2 with most bookies, and that reflects on the fact that Southgate’s side are a genuine challenger for the trophy. 


Southgate has seen his team compete well at the last two major tournaments they’ve played in, with a semi-final finish in the 2018 World Cup and a runners-up berth in the delayed Euro 2020, where they lost on penalties to Italy.

Many expect Liverpool’s Joe Gomez to make that list, as well as currently sidelined full-backs Kyle Walker and Reece James. This should mean that Arsenal’s Ben White will make it into the 55-player list, as he can play as both full-back and as a central defender. 

Multiple reports suggest that Crystal Palace attacker Ebere Eze will also be on the longlist even though he is yet to win an international cap. 

Southgate will have to reduce his 55-player list down to 26 by November 14th, when he must select his final World Cup squad. 

Jose Mourinho Backs Chris Smalling

One long shot when it comes to both the longlist and the final squad selection could be AS Roma defender Chris Smalling. The former Manchester United man is enjoying a productive spell in Italy and Stadio Olimpico boss Jose Mourinho feels the experienced centre-back should be in the running for Qatar.

“If I were the coach of a national team, I would do anything to have someone like him at my disposal. I don’t think it’s a lack of respect to Gareth Southgate when I say that I feel sorry for a player who’s playing at such a high level, like Smalling, who won’t get the opportunity he deserves.”

Smalling has won 31 national team caps, but the last of these came way back in 2017 but arguably is now as consistent a performer as most of those in the running to get on the plane to Qatar.

He initially moved to Roma on loan in August 2019 before that move was made permanent in October 2020. Smalling has now played 110 times for the Serie A side and netted ten times in the process. 

Bukayo Saka Should Be the Player that Southgate Turns To

Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka is enjoying a great season with the Gunners and is a player who is sure to be a regular in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup plans and according to former England international Martin Keown, the youngster should be a key member of the national team set-up in Qatar.

“We’ve got a World Cup coming up, and I just feel now that he’s got to be the one that Southgate turns to in that position.”

“He’s top drawer, and he’s now showing the way for the next generation.”

The 21-year-old has already racked up 20 national team caps and has amassed 145 first-team appearances for Arsenal, and it’s therefore easy to forget that he’s only just recently turned 21 years of age. 

Aaron Ramsdale Honest About England Starting Spot Chances

Another Arsenal man who will more than likely be part of Southgate’s final World Cup squad, Aaron Ramsdale, has spoken about his chances of usurping Everton’s Jordan Pickford from the starting spot in the England side.

Ramsdale has enjoyed a strong start to the season, keeping four clean sheets from his ten Premier League starts, but feels he may be running out of time to unseat his Toffees rival.

“I think the World Cup personally is six months too soon for me to really challenge,” 

“And I’ve said this a few times; it’s not really for people to go: ‘oh no, you should be number one’. I’m being realistic; I’ve played three times for England, with a World Cup coming in six weeks. I’m not really going to play.”

“But that’s not me throwing the towel in. I’m fighting to be that starting goalkeeper. But if I’m not, I’ll support whoever is the best that I can.”

England starts their World Cup against Iran on November 21st before taking on the United States and Wales in what should be a fairly straightforward group stage. 

If you fancy backing England for success with any football betting sites, we’d suggest you start with a wager on Southgate’s side getting all the way to the semi-finals again; you’ll get odds of around 9/2 on this eventuality.