World Cup clock: Harry Maguire has another day to forget and Nick Pope boosts his chances

World Cup clock: Harry Maguire has another day to forget, inspired Nick Pope boosts his chances and Ben Chilwell faces new competition at Chelsea… while Ollie Watkins and Reece James make their claims and Aaron Ramsdale makes a mistake

  • Who is going to the World Cup in Qatar in November? sports mail holds tabs
  • Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale are hoping to be among the goalies
  • Reece James and Ollie Watkins are in impressive form at Chelsea and Aston Villa
  • Harry Maguire has been part of Man United’s recent disastrous defence
  • For the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates, click here

Time is ticking for England manager Gareth Southgate to announce his squad for the World Cup in Qatar. Now is the crucial time for some of the candidates hoping to be on the plane.

Players who started the season in top form do so knowing they are increasing their chances of reaching the top, while for the Three Lions hopefuls now is not the time to make mistakes or face shocks.

Sportsmail is keeping an eye on who is likely to make the squad when the tournament kicks off in November.

The players still have time to secure places in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad

NICK POPE

Will option number three win the pair race to become England’s No 1? All the talk over the past 12 months has revolved around Jordan Pickford versus Aaron Ramsdale but Pope has quietly moved to the front of the queue and made it two clean sheets from two following his favorable £10m move to Newcastle.

The 30-year-old has won just eight caps for his country but England have won all eight, conceding once.

OLLIE WATKINS

The Villa striker’s team-mate – and rival for a seat on the Qatar Express – Danny Ings scored but it was Watkins who scored, his first of two assists against Everton on Saturday.

His connection play and hard running to make room for midfield runners will serve him well, giving Gareth Southgate the option of playing him in a front two with Harry Kane.

Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope made several key saves in his side's draw at Brighton

Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope made several key saves in his side’s draw at Brighton

REECE JAMES

Forget if James is in the team because Southgate doesn’t like Trent Alexander-Arnold, at the moment the Chelsea man is simply the best right-back we have.

Another majestic performance yesterday against Spurs, completed with a goal, cements his grip on a starting spot.

HARRY MAGUIRE

How long can Maguire’s United form continue before it costs him his place in England? For Brentford’s fourth goal on Saturday, Maguire started on the edge of the hosts’ box and gave Ivan Toney a 20-metre lead in a race the striker could have won at half-speed anyway.

Luckily for Maguire, the centre-back is a problem position as only AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori and Tottenham’s Eric Dier are in reasonably good club form.

Harry Maguire (second right) was part of a disastrous 4-0 defeat for Man United at Brentford

Harry Maguire (second right) was part of a disastrous 4-0 defeat for Man United at Brentford

Aaron Ramsdale

The 24-year-old’s superb first season at Arsenal was marked by a lack of clean sheets, which he should have done better.

James Maddison’s shot on Saturday hit Ramsdale hard and deep but straight. This is not the time for him to let shots – and doubts – creep into Southgate’s mind.

BEN CHILWELL

England are not blessed with left-backs so Kieran Trippier has spent a lot of time there over the last four years.

But even as the best conventional option, Chilwell will be worried about the arrival of £52.5million Marc Cucurella, who replaced him in Chelsea’s starting XI yesterday and has consistently posed a threat along with Raheem Sterling.

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