England squad for 2022 World Cup

The 26 players in the England squad for the 2022 World Cup have been confirmed by Gareth Southgate.

England go into the World Cup as the fourth favorites to win the trophy and there is a lot of pressure on Southgate’s squad.

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After finishing fourth at the 2018 World Cup and then losing to Italy on penalty kicks in agonizing fashion in the final of EURO 2020, reaching the semifinals in Qatar is the bare minimum for the Three Lions.

They have a stacked squad of talented players and that semifinal aim is achievable but there are some very difficult choices for Gareth Southgate to make as he prepares to name his 26-man squad.

[ MORE: Everything you need to know for the World Cup in Qatar ]

Below is a look at the confirmed England squad for the World Cup.

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Confirmed England squad for 2022 World Cup

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Ben White, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, John Stones, Eric Dier, Harry Maguire, Conor Coady, Luke Shaw

Midfielders: Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson, Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount, Jack Grealish, Connor Gallagher, Kalvin Phillips

Forwards: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Bukayo Saka, James Maddison, Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford, Callum Wilson

What are the big dilemmas for Gareth Southgate?

The biggest issue for Southgate is generating some form and confidence in this England squad. They are without a win in their last six games and were relegated from the the top tier of the UEFA Nations League in recent months. That said, a rousing 3-3 draw against Germany last time out showed glimpses that this exciting young side can still turn it out when needed.

Defensively there are big problems for Southgate as Harry Maguire is bang out of form and he has lost both Kyle Walker and Reece James to injuries in recent weeks but Walker has made the squad with James missing out.

In midfield he’s added more attacking intent with Conor Gallagher and James Maddison both surprise inclusions.

Up top he has a plethora of options but Raheem Sterling’s form will be a concern and the likes of Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount and Phil Foden are pushing hard to start underneath Harry Kane in attack. Callum Wilson surprisingly won the race to back up Kane, with Tammy Abraham and Ivan Toney missing out.

Which players were on the bubble?

There is a core 18-20 players in this England squad who are guaranteed to make it to Qatar. Then there isn’t much between the huge group battling for the final six to eight spots. Trent Alexander-Arnold has made it and that is probably because Reece James is injured.

Kalvin Phillips’ injury record may be a concern, but he’s in, while Conor Gallagher beat James Ward-Prowse to a spot.

Ben White made it ahead of Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori. Tammy Abraham, Jarrod Bowen and Ivan Toney will all be very disappointed as Callum Wilson pipped them to that extra forward role.

Dean Henderson missed out with Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale backing up Jordan Pickford as England’s undisputed starting goalkeeper.

England squad for 2022 World Cup originally appeared on NBCSports.com