James Maddison braced to miss out on England World Cup squad despite hot form

James Maddison is likely to miss out on England's World Cup squad – despite his electric start to the season.

Maddison's six goals and four assists in 12 Premier League appearances for Leicester City have heightened calls for Gareth Southgate to take him to Qatar in recent weeks. But on the eve of the 26-man squad announcement, Maddison is braced for a text telling him he hasn't made the cut.

Southgate is set to include Kalvin Phillips, who has told the Three Lions boss he is close to returning to full fitness again after missing most of the season with a shoulder problem.

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That means he could name an extra midfielder at the expense of a defender to provide cover for Phillips, whose lack of action remains a concern.

But the favourite to get the nod is Southampton's James Ward-Prowse, with Southgate reluctant to recall Maddison, who has not been named in a squad since 2019.

Will Southgate be left to rue his decision? Let us know in the comments section.

The 25-year-old is far less experienced on the international stage than the alternative options, having picked up just one England cap. He made his debut as a substitute in 7–0 win over Montenegro in November 2019.

Elsewhere in the squad, Trent Alexander-Arnold and the versatile Ben White are expected to be included, as well as the currently-sidelined Kyle Walker, who is recovering from a groin operation.

In attack, Callum Wilson and Marcus Rashford are in line for recalls following their respective returns to form, leaving nervous waits for fellow forwards Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham.

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