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Summary

  1. England call-ups for Nick Pope, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook & Alfie Mawson
  2. Aaron Ramsey missing from Wales squad for China Cup
  3. Chelsea beaten in Champions League

Live Reporting

By Andrew Mullen

All times stated are UK

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Mark, Andover: The negativity surrounding the England squad amazes me! People are calling for in form players to be called like Murray and Dunk. International football isn't only about form it's about being able to play at that level too!

Jake S: Not sure why everyone is so angry about the squad. The starting 11 virtually picks itself (apart from the keeper), everyone is arguing over the fringe players of the squad - the fourth centre back etc.

Jeff, Maidenhead: Only England. Simultaneously hopeful and hopeless. Inclusions of Mawson, Tarkowski and Pope show genuine forward thinking. Inclusions of Hart ,Livermore and Welbeck are, to anyone who's seen these three play in 2018 (and not many have seen Hart play let's face it), simply incredulous. Livermore is average in a woeful side.

Sean Cole: If I wasn't a Burnley fan, that would be the most depressing England squad in a long time.

Trevor, Clitheroe: Surely for two friendlies we can pick a squad of players who have game time this season in the Premier League, why do we rely on players past their sell by date and injury prone!

Strikers: Why Welbeck? Murray moan?

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Harry Kane's omission through injury has left a big hole in Gareth Southgate's squad a as a whole, never mind the options in attack.

Arsenal's Danny Welbeck has been recalled despite only making two Premier League starts since the turn of the year, with Swansea City's Tammy Abraham selected for the Under-21 squad having made his full international debut in November.

Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling were expected, but the decision not to call up Brighton's Glenn Murray is one to ponder.

"You never want any player to experience injury and of course Tottenham have some very big matches coming up. It's a disappointment for us not to have Harry with us," said England manager Gareth Southgate.

"We've had to cope without him and it's important we're able to cope without him because you never know what's going to happen in football."

Forwards:Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

Danny Welbeck
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Midfielders: Wilshere worry? Cook-a-hoop over Lewis?

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Jack Wilshere's inclusion has divided opinion, while the selection of Bournemouth's Lewis Cook has been welcomed on all sides.

Wilshere has shown he has returned to form with Arsenal and can be a world beater on his day, but his previous injury record seems to be the main concern.

Cook has been in fine form for the Cherries this season and he is certainly in the 'one for the future' brakcet at 21 years old and this experience will only aid his development.

"Jack's a player with unquestionable talent. I have had to field lot of questions about him and the key for me now is he is playing the games that matter for Arsenal and playing well," said England manager Gareth Southgate.

"Physically we feel he is close to where he can get to and he is having a good influence on games."

Midfielders: Eric Dier, Dele Alli (both Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (all Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Jake Livermore (West Brom)

Jack Wilshere
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Defenders: Still a chance for Cahill? Smalling?

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England manager Gareth Southgate has decided to omit a number of experienced players from his defence as Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling miss out, while Burnley's James Tarkowski is selected for the first time.

Southgate said it was "probably a very difficult call" to drop Cahill, who has captained England.

But the England boss said the Chelsea defender could win back favour before the World Cup, adding: "I think there are a few players not in this squad who are certainly not out of our mind."

Uncapped Alfie Mawson also wins a place in the squad alongside Liverpool's Joe Gomez.

Defenders: Kyle Walker, John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Alfie Mawson (Swansea)

Gary Cahill misses out on selection
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Goalkeepers: Number one shirt up for grabs?

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Gareth Southgate admitted the number one shirt this summer is still up for grabs...

Nick Pope's form for Burnley has been rewarded with a call-up to the national squad, while Joe Hart is included despite only one Premier League appearance since November.

Elsewhere, there is space for Stoke's Jack Butland and Everton's Jordan Pickford.

Butland was the man in goal for England's final qualifying game but it remains to be seen who will start on June 18th in Russia.

"Clearly the number one jersey is up for grabs," said England manager Gareth Southgate.

"Joe has had a difficult period with his club and he had to miss out on selection a few times when David Moyes came in.

"He's got a great number of caps and he's the most experienced keeper in our squad so we wanted to keep him around."

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Joe Hart gestures to his teammates
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Ronaldo headlines Portugal squad

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Cristiano Ronaldo headlined the Portugal squad named on Thursday to face Egypt in Zurich on March 23 and the Netherlands in Geneva four days later.

The European Champions' coach Fernando Santos will have to do without central defender Pepe, but has called up 20-year-old Benfica defender Ruben Dias.

Portugal were third in FIFA's world rankings released on Thursday behind only Germany and Brazil with the World Cup in three months time.

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Glenn Murray has scored more than both Rashford and Welbeck combined this season. Shame he wasn't given a chance

Luke, Brighton
Glenn Murray
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How people can criticise Wilshere's incision is beyond me, he is the most talented, forward thinking midfielder available - he should be starting in Russia

Owen, Leicester

Can anybody other than their families and club supporters tell me how Henderson, Hart & Livermore are international quality?

Nigel, Cambridge

Ben Yedder rewarded for Man United double with France call-up

Football

Sevilla forward Wissam Ben Yedder was called up by France for the first time on Thursday after his Champions League double against Manchester United earlier this week.

Ben Yedder struck twice at Old Trafford to send Sevilla through to the quarter-finals with a 2-1 aggregate win against United on Tuesday.

The former Toulouse striker, 27, was included in Didier Deschamps’ squad for friendlies against Colombia on March 23 and in Russia against the World Cup hosts four days later.

France will play in Group C at the World Cup where they will face Australia, Peru and Denmark.

Wissam Ben Yedder
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On a whole it's not a bad squad but I would have taken Ben Mee instead of Joe Hart and just gone with three keepers, Jack Cork instead of Jake Livermore and Callum Wilson instead of Danny Welbeck

Will, Aldershot

The negativity surrounding the England squad amazes me! People are calling for in form players to be called like Murray and Dunk. International football isn't only about form it's about being able to play at that level too!

Mark, Andover

England squad in full

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I think it's fair to say the reaction to Gareth Southgate's England squad has been mixed.

In case you missed it earlier, here it is again.

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Kyle Walker, John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Alfie Mawson (Swansea)

Midfielders: Eric Dier, Dele Alli (both Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (all Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Jake Livermore (West Brom)

Forwards:Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

Gareth Southgate
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Not sure why everyone is so angry about the squad. The starting 11 virtually picks itself (apart from the keeper), everyone is arguing over the fringe players of the squad - the fourth centre back etc

Jake S

No hope for Russia now, Southgate clueless and being led from above, that midfield is simply too defensive, how are we going to score with defensive minded back passers Livermore ,Henderson,D ier, Wilshere? Should have give Shelvey a go, just no creativity in the middle. And Joe Hart, really? Shambles.

Sean , berdeen

Only England. Simultaneously hopeful and hopeless. Inclusions of Mawson, Tarkowski and Pope show genuine forward thinking. Inclusions of Hart ,Livermore and Welbeck are, to anyone who's seen these three play in 2018 (and not many have seen Hart play let's face it), simply incredulous. Livermore is average in a woeful side.

Jeff, Maidenhead

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Matt Jarratt: No Ryan Sessegnon? The kid has gone and scored 14 goals this season and starts every week, instead we have four keepers and Jake Livermore. Same old ‘Scared to try something new England’

Sean Cole: If I wasn't a Burnley fan, that would be the most depressing England squad in a long time.

Taylor: Nice to see another England manager bottling yet another squad selection. Southgate is a yes man.

Gareth Southgate
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Surely for two friendlies we can pick a squad of players who have game time this season in the PL why do we rely on players past their sell by date and injury prone!

Trevor, Clitheroe

I don't understand how the inclusion of Livermore hasn't been questioned more? He was a generous inclusion even before West Brom were dreadful. Other than Livermore & Hart I can't really complain too much

James, Suffolk
Jake Livermore
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I think people are being too harsh on Gareth Southgate, his only concern is they safety of the fans. If he takes a squad as bad as this to Russia they will only have to survive a week there.

Aon

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Stephen Burfoot: Don't forget a squad is about chemistry as well as ability, Hart does have a lot of experience to pass on even if it is of the "what not to do" variety

Natalie Burnett: How is Danny Welbeck in the squad?!? Glenn Murray plays in one game and does more than Danny in a whole season.....He scores goals and Danny warms a bench?!?!?!

Adam: People moaning about England squad is laughable. You want new blood, you've got it in Pope, Tarkowski, Cook, Mawson all from "lesser" clubs. Hart's experienced, Henderson is captain of a top four side. Southgate can't win! This is most progressive England side in years.

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People need to remember these games leading up to major tournaments should be where we're playing our best 11 possible so they get used to playing together, not just blooding young/uncapped players for the sake of it!!

Jake R

Why do you have to be in a top six side to get picked - absolute garbage!!

Nigel, Ely

England are lacking central midfielders who can play the holding role. Henderson is one of the few we have got. We definitely should have taken Dunk or try out Murray instead of taking Hart.

Adam Rees

Man City's Bravo rejects Chile call-up

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Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has rejected a call-up to the Chile squad for this month’s friendlies against Sweden and Denmark.

Bravo was picked in the squad by coach Reinaldo Rueda.

However, the 34-year-old said on social media that he would not be accepting the call and will spend time with his family instead.

It is understood Bravo is in dispute with the Chilean Federation over the potential to use his personal goalkeeping coach.

“I deeply regret you are calling me against my will because over the years I have gained minimum respect for this shield," he said.

“My preparation and work are very important to me.”

Bravo has 119 Chile caps and was part of the side that won the Copa America in 2015 and Copa America Centenario in 2016.

Chile did not qualify for this summer’s World Cup.

Claudio Bravo
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Phil Bowers: Just seen the England squad. Wilshire? Welbeck? Henderson? HART????? If this was truly a time to experiment in the run-up to a major tournament - this lot could've been avoided. Joe Hart still being within earshot of the England number one shirt is madness.

George Mcbride: I cannot believe there's no Shelvey as he is one of the most creative midfielders we have but Henderson gets picked....I give up.

Rezaa Sait: Why are people questioning the inclusion of Wilshere? He's England's most creative midfielder and he's playing regularly and well for Arsenal.

England call-ups for uncapped quartet as Jack Wilshere earns recall

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England manager Gareth Southgate has named four uncapped players in his 27-man squad to face the Netherlands and Italy on 23 and 27 March.

Burnley's James Tarkowski and Nick Pope, plus Swansea defender Alfie Mawson and Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook have all been included.

There are also places for Arsenal's Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck.

Injured Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Chelsea defender Gary Cahill are among those who miss out.

Read the full story.

Lewis Cook
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Leaving out Lewis Dunk one of the best English defenders and bang in form sums up how useless Southgate is. And more proof picking Joe Hart bottom of keeper stats and now not even playing!

Greg Bishop

I cannot honestly believe Southgate thinks Jordan Henderson is worthy enough of an England shirt. Baffles me. Sideways, backwards, injured. Lascelles and Dunk for me should have been given the nod.

Tom G

The outrage over Henderson is bizarre. How many other English players have captained their side to the last eight of the Champions League?

Suhel, Leicester

'Jack Wilshere an unquestionable talent'

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"Jack's a player with unquestionable talent. I have had to field lot of questions about him and the key for me now is he is playing the games that matter for Arsenal and playing well.

"Physically we feel he is close to where he can get to and he is having a good influence on games."

Jack Wilshere
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Gareth Southgate on those who have missed out

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"There are a few players that are not in this squad that are not out of our mind. There are in particular that if they were playing at the moment they would have been in - Fabian Delph, Phil Jones and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

"They are all close to fitness but have not played in matches and are in the early stages of their recovery. Plus Harry Kane, they are four that would be in our thinking."

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Dean Vallerundefined: I appreciate people criticising selections of Henderson and Hart but with so few English starters in top six sides Southgate's options are limited.

Miles Barrett-Pope: Bottle job Southgate is clueless taking four keepers leaving out inform Murray but taking out of form Welbeck and not taking Lewis Dunk who has been one of the best English defenders this season

Connor Mountford: Team is shocking, if that's any idea as to who we're taking to the World Cup, it's not going to be a good tournament

Gareth Southgate on Joe Hart's inclusion in the squad

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"Clearly the number one jersey is up for grabs.

"Joe (Hart) has had a difficult period with his club and he had to miss out on selection a few times when David Moyes came in.

"He's got a great number of caps and he's the most experienced keeper in our squad so we wanted to keep him around."

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The exclusion of Lascelles and Dunk is truly incredible. What games does Southgate go to?

Ken, Newcastle

Hart, why? Great to see Pope & Tarkowski recognised though.

Steve, Kent

Hart cannot even get a regular start for West Ham! Wilshere ,Welbeck and Henderson are all injury prone and have had there day! Surely friendlies are the chance to blood new/fringe players?

Paul

Gareth Southgate on two Burnley players in the squad

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"With Nick Pope his form has been excellent. It's great credit to Sean Dyche that we have got two Burnley players in our squad.

"We need to find out a bit more about them because if we lose one of our more experienced players then we will need them to fill the void, but Nick's form has warranted his place in the squad."

Gareth Southgate on Harry Kane

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"I think the medical reports we have are that he will play well before the end of the season. You never want a player to experience injury, and of course Tottenham have some very big matches coming up.

"In my time here he has only been available for a few matches but still scored goals.

"I'm always working on the strength of tournaments and who can come in because we have been to tournaments before and players have dropped out before and the impetus has been on that and not on the collective."

Harry Kane will play again this season, says Pochettino

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is confident Harry Kane will play again this season, though refused to put a timescale on his return.

Kane has suffered lateral ligament damage in his right ankle and Spurs said on Wednesday that he would return to training next month.

That prognosis was described as "preliminary" but Pochettino expects to have Kane available for Spurs' Premier League run-in.

"Yes, of course," the Argentine said on prospects of a return before the end of the campaign.

"We want to help him recover as soon as possible from his injury, that's the first step, to be fully recovered from the injury. Then we will see, it's two or three weeks, we don't know. We need to assess every day."

Harry Kane
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The Russian situation?

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Before getting into explaining the squad, Gareth Southgate is asked about the developing political situation with Russia, who will host this year's World Cup.

"Clearly it's a really serious matter and it's developing really quickly but my job as the England football manager is to concentrate on the football and prepare the team.

"We are preparing to go to the World Cup and the only thing of high importance right now is the safety of our players, staff and fans."

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Excuse me!? Henderson, Wilshere and JOE HART!? Has Southgate not WATCHED the Premier League this season, or any other season for years? That squad is a shambles, players who deserve places way more left out for the old rubbish. Disappointing again.

James M

Four keepers. Not got the bottle to drop any of them who are letting goals in for fun. Unbelievable.

Jeff B

Why have four keepers in a squad for friendlies? What a waste. No more than two needed.

Mark, Cheshire

Pope, Tarkowski, Mawson & Cook in England squad

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Uncapped Nick Pope, James Tarkowski, Alfie Mawson and Lewis Cook have been called up to the England squad for the friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy, the Football Association has announced.

Gary Cahill is left out while there are recalls for Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck.

We will hear from Gareth Southgate soon.

BREAKING NEWS - England squad

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England squad
England

The wait is over

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Gareth Southgate set to announce England's squad for friendly matches with the Netherlands and Italy from 14:00 GMT.

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Get Glenn Murray and Lewis Dunk in to England team. They have both been solid all season for Brighton, it will be an outrage if either of them don’t get in

Natalie
Glenn Murray
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In the England squad should be James Tarkowski, Nick Pope, Ben Mee and Ashley Barnes. Burnley are in seventh position in the Premier League because they have so many good players.

Amanda

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I have faith in Southgate not to follow all the previous managers and pick favourites like Henderson and Wilshere, there is a lot of decent, untried players who should get a chance. My faith has been misplaced before though!

Dez, Manchester
Jordan Hendersonn
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Lewis Dunk has been performing all season, if Southgate doesn't call him up just shows he had no clue and you have to play for a big club to massively increase your chances.

James

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MadClaret94: If Tarkowski gets in, taking Ben Mee is a MUST. No point in taking 50% of the best English centre back pairing in the league, the chemistry wouldn't be the same.

Ben Mee
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Harry Winks is the future of English football! Only a niggling ankle injury over the past few months has halted his progress. Hopefully he will recover and make the full squad for Russia.

Paul
Harry Winks
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Winks has been named in the U-21 squad for a friendly with Romania and Euro 2019 qualifier against Ukraine.

Paul DaCosta: If Hart and Henderson are called to the England squad, I will have one question for Gareth, is it one rule for Jack Wilshere and another for these two?

Dave W: Lewis Cook really deserves his place, without doubt. Callum Wilson can't be too far off either. Hoping Southgate shows some imagination, Lewis Dunk is a good shout at the back too.

Shaun Hewitt: Alex Pritchard and Ryan Sessegnon would be fantastic inclusion in the top team.

Callum Wilson
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Who will replace Harry Kane?

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With Tammy Abraham named in the U-21 squad, who will Gareth Southgate turn to?

Tammy Abraham
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Has nobody mentioned Alfie Mawson yet? One of the main reasons behind the revival at Swansea, plays in a back three week in and week out and is left footed. Should be a shoo-in for Russia.

WS, Welling
Alfie Mawson
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Busquets injury blow for Barcelona

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Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets will be out for around three weeks with a fractured toe and faces a race to be fit for next month's Champions League quarter-finals.

Busquets hobbled off in the 61st minute of Barca's 3-0 win over Chelsea on Wednesday

The Catalans will discover on Friday their last eight opponent, with the first leg scheduled for April 3 or 4, leaving Busquets a maximum of 21 days to recover.

Busquets' injury comes at a bad time too for Spain, with coach Julen Lopetegui due to announce on Friday his squad for friendlies against Germany on March 23 and Argentina on March 27.

"The tests performed have confirmed that the player of the first team Sergio Busquets has a fracture in the phalanx of the fifth right toe with a wound. His approximate absence is three weeks," said a Barcelona statement.

Sergio Busquets
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