World Cup Countdown: England’s weekly winners and losers

With the World Cup moving ever closer which English players pushed their claims this week?


Joe Hart

Man of the match as West Ham pulled six points clear of the Premier League trapdoor, Hart made two stunning late saves as West Ham grimly held on for a point at Stamford Bridge. There’s still a lot to do for Hart to haul in Butland & Pickford for the England number 1 jersey but Nick Pope can probably book his holidays for June.

Will Hughes

This hasn’t been the season as advertised for Hughes who was supposed to form a young English midfield pairing with Nat Chalobah but the two have instead been spending time together in the Watford treatment room. But Hughes has been excellent in recent weeks and was again commanding in midfield. A deep midfielder who looks to get forward with a good passing range feels like a fit for England and Southgate is familiar with what Hughes can bring from the Under 21s- if he can continue his progress he’s in with a shout.

Danny Welbeck

A strange game for the Welbler, 2 goals a man of the match award but an astounding miss. Even though he was picked for the recent friendlies Welbeck needs goals and games to make the plane to Russia simply because England are stacked with better options in similar deep forward positions (Sterling, Rashford, Lingard, Ox) and have 2 natural number 9s in Kane and Vardy.

Jordan Pickford

Poor against City last week but excellent against Liverpool. Pickford made a brilliant first half save to keep out Solanke and showed progress in commanding his box. Still favourite to start in goal against Tunisia.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Apparently was the weak link City were going to exploit in the Champions League, ho hmm. Alexander-Arnold is showing maturity in defence to go with his crossing but has the misfortune to play in England’s strongest position where Walker & Trippier have already booked their slots for the summer.


Gary Cahill

Finally got a game for Chelsea and duly cost them 2 points! Cahill’s chances of playing for England again are receding by the week.

Dominic Solanke

Got his first Premier League start and did OK in a Liverpool team with one eye on the Champions League but really should have buried his first half chance. Solanke is a fine prospect who will get more chances but with Liverpool’s front 3 he needs to take them when they come. It’s hard to escape the feeling he realises that and is trying a little too hard and perhaps needs another pre-season with Klopp.

Phil Jones

Not currently injured but not even amongst in Manchester United’s match day squad- worrying!

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