sport news Gareth Southgate claims Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips will play for England ... trends now
England will have Euro 2024 qualification within their grasp if they make it five wins out of five against Ukraine in the Polish city of Wroclaw on Saturday night.
Ever since Gareth Southgate's men ground out a 2-1 win away to Italy in Naples back in March, they have been in total control of qualifying Group C.
Their June double-header saw them turn on the style and rack up the goals as Malta were thrashed 4-0 and North Macedonia demolished 7-0.
At the mid-point in qualifying, England can look forward to next year's tournament in Germany with confidence.
But the perennial issue is whether the Three Lions boast enough squad depth to go all the way and lift the major trophy that has eluded generations of England teams since 1966.
England have cruised their way through Euro 2024 qualifying so far, with four wins from four
Gareth Southgate will still have doubts over whether his squad has enough strength in depth
Southgate's latest squad left out Raheem Sterling, an England stalwart for many years now, in a possible indication of an embarrassment of riches in wide attacking areas.
This current group has convened without the injured Tyrone Mings, John Stones and Luke Shaw, while Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, listed as one of England's midfield selections, also had to withdraw.
Also absent are the likes of Reece James, Eric Dier, Conor Coady, Mason Mount and James Ward-Prowse - all regular picks in recent years.
Yet England's squad to face Ukraine and then Scotland in a friendly next Tuesday still looks plenty strong enough on paper.
Scratch beneath the surface, however, and Southgate may face problems in the lack of game time Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips will receive this season, with favoured options ahead of them at their clubs.
Likewise, there will be concern over the level of football Jordan Henderson is now experiencing in the Saudi Pro League with Al-Ettifaq and whether it's adequate to keep pace with Europe's best players next summer.
A Sofascore best-rated England XI from the opening matches of the season simultaneously highlights the depth they have and also what will be missing in Wroclaw.
Harry Maguire is trusted by Southgate and continues to start for England despite barely playing for his club Manchester United
Kalvin Phillips doesn't feature much for Manchester City but plays - and scores - for England
Raheem Sterling was a surprise omission from the latest England squad after good form
Grealish, Shaw and Ward-Prowse all feature. Of course the injuries to Shaw and Grealish are unfortunate but both will hopefully be fit and firing when the real business starts at the Euros.
The fact Ward-Prowse was left out despite a very positive start to life at West Ham - one goal, three assists in three games - raised a few eyebrows as his form suggests he should be in England's team.
But Ward-Prowse has stiff competition from the likes of Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice, who are in just as good, if not better, form, and Southgate favourites like Henderson and Phillips.
With Alexander-Arnold capable of playing in midfield, as he did in June's qualifiers, and the likes of Mount and Conor Gallagher also possibilities, England absolutely should not be short in there.
Phillips' lack of game time for City has cleared the way for Bellingham, who looks right at home as a Real Madrid player, to