The England team has not included Eddie Nketiah, an England striker, or Raheem Sterling, an attacker for Chelsea, for their November Euro 2024 qualifiers against North Macedonia and Malta.
With two games remaining, the Three Lions secured top place in Group C with 16 points from six games, guaranteeing their spot in the championship in Germany the following year.
Though they can’t yet ensure a top spot, England will play their penultimate match at Wembley on November 17 against Malta before playing North Macedonia in Skopje three days later.
For his 25-man roster, Gareth Southgate has largely stuck with the players from October’s victories over Australia and Italy, which means Chelsea’s Sterling is once again not included in the group.
The former Liverpool player, who hasn’t played for his country since the 2022 World Cup, has had a strong start to November, scoring in an EFL Cup victory over Blackburn Rovers and then helping Nicolas Jackson in a 4-1 thumping of Tottenham Hotspur.
Nevertheless, Nketiah was also left off the squad despite winning his maiden senior cap against Australia last month, and Sterling’s efforts have not been sufficient to win back Southgate’s approval.
The 24-year-old recently scored five goals in a Premier League victory over Sheffield United, but an ankle injury kept him out of the Gunners’ 2-0 Champions League victory over Sevilla on Wednesday.
Callum Wilson of Newcastle United, who also left the game at halftime due to a hamstring injury, takes advantage of Nketiah’s absence to gain a recall to the England team, while Bukayo Saka and James Maddison are added in similar circumstances.
Saka hobbled off against Sevilla on Wednesday due to what appeared to be an ankle issue, and Maddison also had an issue during Spurs’ 4-1 loss to Chelsea. Despite this, both players have received call-ups.
Both Ollie Watkins and Jarrod Bowen have maintained their places in the squad, although Mason Mount of Manchester United, who hasn’t been called up since March, and Eberechi Eze, a fit midfielder for Crystal Palace, are left out.
Jordan Henderson of Al-Ettifaq has also been added, as has Kalvin Phillips despite his ongoing absence from Manchester City action, and Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool is once again classified as a midfielder.
Back in the back, Southgate has opted not to take a chance on the injured Chelsea right-back Reece James, who has just recently returned from a serious hamstring injury. Ben White, an Arsenal regular, has also been left out once more.
The Three Lions’ defense remains otherwise unaltered as John Stones withdraws from the team due to a muscle injury he sustained against Manchester City in the Champions League.
Despite Aaron Ramsdale being demoted to second fiddle at Arsenal, Southgate has continued to use the same trio of goalkeepers—Jordan Pickford, Sam Johnstone, and Aaron Ramsdale—and has once again excluded Newcastle’s top scorer, Nick Pope.