The question of who will make the final Euro 2024 England squad will be partly answered at 2pm tomorrow, when Gareth Southgate announces his pick for England’s closing duo of qualifiers.
With England already booking their place at next summer’s finals, the games against Malta and North Macedonia – neither of whom can qualify – provide a prime opportunity for some fringe players to make a late claim for a place amongst next summer’s final 23.
Here we look at some potential surprise inclusions, along with more familiar names who find themselves at risk of omission next summer. We also have the latest selected odds regarding who will make the final Euro 2024 England squad.
November 2023 predicted England lineup – Our call
Back in October, England triumphed 1-0 over Australia, thanks to an Ollie Watkins goal. As an interesting side plot, Eddie Nketiah made his debut and centre-back Fikayo Tomori made his first appearance in over a year.
All three will hope to play again during this month’s break, as will Marcus Rashford, who also scored a stunning goal that provided a welcome distraction from what has so far been a torrid season for club Manchester United.
Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier; Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice; Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden; Harry Kane.
Nick Pope, Sam Johnstone, Levi Colwill, Lewis Dunk, Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, Jarrod Bowen, Jack Grealish, James Maddison, Cole Palmer, Marcus Rashford, Ollie Watkins.
November 2023 predicted England lineup – Players in focus
Here are our players in focus and their current chances of Euro 2024 inclusion, with odds shown in brackets.
Nick Pope (1/1)
Newcastle’s goliath stopper was a surprise omission from Southgate’s October squad. The 31-year-old has seven clean sheets this season, but the most impressive part of Pope’s game is probably how he has developed his game.
Pope is no longer the old-school goalkeeper he was at Burnley. Newcastle play an extremely aggressive high line against most sides, and Pope has become excellent at sweeping up behind his defence.
There’s no better evidence for this than his statistics for defensive actions outside the penalty area and the average distance of his defensive actions, which sit on the 95th and 96th percentile respectively.
Cole Palmer (5/1)
Many eyebrows were raised when Chelsea forked out £45m for the services of Cole Palmer. The England youth international had shone during the EURO under-21 tournament in the summer, memorably setting up Curtis Jones’ winner in the final, but had only made three Premier League starts at Manchester City.
But just five months on from England's first EURO U21 trophy in 39 years, few are questioning the Blues’ investment in Palmer. The ex-Manchester City man has stepped up prodigiously at Chelsea, playing as either a number eight or a wide playmaker under Mauricio Pochettino.
The real value of Palmer's performances can be seen in his underlying numbers. He is averaging 8.3 progressive passes per game, the most of any player to make more than four starts, as well as five shot creating actions per game, putting him fifth in the Premier League going into this weekend's round.
Aaron Ramsdale (1/5)
Things have gone pretty disastrously for the former Arsenal number one since the start of the season. The Englishman had an average start to 2023/24, but this coincided with Mikel Arteta finally bringing in long-term target David Raya. Since then, Ramsdale has been relegated to backing up the Spaniard.
To make matters worse for the England stopper, Ramsdale had an awkward display against West Ham in the Carabao Cup that did nothing to quieten his detractors.
Southgate has been a fan of Ramsdale’s for a long time though, selecting him as a backup at EURO 2020 long before his move to Arsenal. However, his form and playtime will be an issue that may see him replaced by Pope for now.
Marcus Rashford (1/8)
Marcus Rashford has not been able to escape the Red Devils’ malaise. His output in terms of goals and assists has completely collapsed. Rashford averaged 0.69 goals or assists per game last season. This season, it has plummeted to 0.21.
There are many players with records better than Rashford’s one goal and one assist in the Premier League this season, who may feel they deserve a spot at his expense. But Rashford may just cling on for at least one more round of fixtures, with his goal against Italy last month as his saving grace.
Who will make the final Euro 2024 England squad – The latest odds
At the moment it’s too early to draw too many conclusions, but there is no doubt that Gareth Southgate will know a lot more by the end of what could be a crucial international break for several young players, and their long-term futures.