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sport news Gareth Southgate to name England squad on Thursday

England kick off their World Cup preparations against Germany and Brazil this month, with Gareth Southgate to name his squad for the upcoming friendlies on Thursday.

The Three Lions have once again sailed through qualification, but the big question now is how to prevent the senior team from stumbling on the biggest stage.

Roy Hodgson led England into the last three major tournaments, with former England defender and Under 21s head coach Southgate now charged with producing a team capable of competing at the highest level.

Gareth Southgate is to name his next England squad for upcoming friendlies this Thursday

Gareth Southgate is to name his next England squad for upcoming friendlies this Thursday

ENGLAND FRIENDLIES

10 Nov - England vs Germany

14 Nov - England vs Brazil 

The Football Association's preparations for Russia begin with back-to-back glamour Wembley friendlies against Germany and Brazil as England look to pit their wits against the best - and learn valuable lessons often not possible in qualifiers.

Southgate was without a string of important players for last month's meet up and will once more be unable to call on several key members for the last matches of 2017.

Adam Lallana - England's reigning player of the year - continues to be sidelined, where he is joined by the likes of Danny Welbeck, Nathaniel Chalobah, Tom Heaton and Ross Barkley.

Southgate will begin finalising his team ahead of next summer's World Cup in Russia

Southgate will begin finalising his team ahead of next summer's World Cup in Russia

Question marks remain over the fitness of a few other players ahead of Thursday's squad announcement, with Southgate using this meet up as a chance to hone the three-man defence he plans to use at the World Cup.

Danny Rose and Luke Shaw, left-backs on the road to full fitness, would operate well in that system, as would the injured Nathaniel Clyne on the opposite flank. Resurgent Ashley Young has impressed for at full-back this term and last played for England in September 2013.

Harry Winks' man-of-the-match debut against Lithuania bolsters his chances of making the England squad, although Southgate's midfield options have improved a little since then.

Arsene Wenger believes Jack Wilshere could be in line for a recall to the England squad

Arsene Wenger believes Jack Wilshere could be in line

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