Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho left out of England squad for friendlies

Manchester United forwards both missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final shoot-out loss to Italy

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Manchester United forwards Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were the biggest names missing from Gareth Southgate's England squad for friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast.

Rashford has been struggling for form for a while now, and Sancho has only recently started to reach the levels that prompted United to spend £73 million on him last summer. Both missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final shoot-out defeat to Italy but had been backed by Southgate until now.

England squad

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Coady, Marc Guehi, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Ben White

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Conor Gallagher, Mason Mount, Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse

Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Raheem Sterling

On the other hand, there was a call-up for Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi to the squad for the first time. Former Chelsea youngster Guehi captained Lee Carsley's Under-21 side during the previous international break. Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate also handed Ben White a return to the squad following a fine run of form at Arsenal.

Southgate said: "With Marc he has had a really consistent season, I have been really impressed on and off the ball.

"In the biggest games he has been really calm, we know a lot about him from the junior teams. There are some centre-halves who are pushing and very close but we have chosen Marc and Ben White."

Nick Pope was back in place of Sam Johnstone as one of three goalkeepers while Declan Rice and James Ward-Prowse also earned recalls. Injuries ruled out Ben Chilwell and Kalvin Phillips, with Luke Shaw not only the sole Manchester United player in the team but also the only recognised left-back.

With preparations now under way for the World Cup in Qatar, Sancho and Rashford will be concerned. Kyle Walker was another surprise omission, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James the two right-backs included.

England play Switzerland on March 26 and Ivory Coast on March 29 at Wembley Stadium.

After the club season concludes, Southgate's Three Lions will then play in the Uefa Nations League in June where they are grouped with Germany, Italy and Hungary.

England have already qualified for the 2022 World Cup and will use the friendlies as preparation for the tournament in Qatar which begins in November.

Meanwhile, Southgate says he does not expect Chelsea's players to be affected by the sanctions imposed on their squad due to their ties with Roman Abramovich that attracted strict action from the UK government following the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Reece James and Mason Mount are both part of Southgate's group.

Southgate added: "In the life of a footballer there are always distractions. Your role is to focus on what you can control and that is the way you train and prepare.

"Everything else is outside of your control. You have to play as well as you can. They haven't called me. What is happening at Chelsea isn't my business, but football clubs will go on. Unless there is gross mismanagement, football clubs survive."

Updated: March 17, 2022, 6:33 PM
England squad

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Coady, Marc Guehi, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Ben White

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Conor Gallagher, Mason Mount, Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse

Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Raheem Sterling

EDITOR'S PICKS