Hart, Wilshere Dropped As England Name 23-Man World Cup Squad

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We know the players who will be in Russian Federation, but who should be in Gareth Southgate's starting line-up for their World Cup opener against Tunisia? John Stones has had a hard season at Manchester City, but Southgate is a confirmed admirer and the 23-year-old is seen as crucial to plans to play three at the back.

Gareth Southgate has revealed selecting England's World Cup squad involved some painful conversations with players not on the plane for Russian Federation. Chelsea stalwart Gary Cahill has received a call-up despite suspicions he would be culled.

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope. Chris Smalling, who has had a good season for Manchester United, was also overlooked because Southgate wants defenders who are comfortable in possession.

Ex-United forward Danny Welbeck is the only Arsenal player selected, and will likely be backup the likes of Kane and Leicester City's Jamie Vardy.

"The balance of the squad is good, both in terms of experience, character and the positional balance".

"The selection process has been over months really, it's not just been the last few weeks".

"It wasn't an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it's important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russian Federation".

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is Southgate's biggest gamble but the Chelsea midfielder, who spent the season on loan at Crystal Palace, was outstanding against Germany and Brazil last November and so has earned the chance to impress in Russian Federation. Jamie Vardy the only player in the squad who didn't represent England at youth level and Harry Maguire the only player plus his Leicester teammate who hasn't represented England at multiple youth levels.

The Sun's Duncan Wright says Southgate "goes for broke" in Russia: "Southgate has ignored the claims of more experienced players, with Liverpool star [Adam] Lallana the biggest name to miss out, and pinned his hopes on a novice group he hopes to lead the country to glory in Russia".

We all remember Jermain Defoe travelling with the team to Germany in 2006 only for Wayne Rooney to make a recovery in time to take his spot up front.

There was no place for Liverpool's Adam Lallana, though he is one of the players on standby, along with keeper Tom Heaton and defender James Tarkowski from Burnley, Bournemouth's 21-year-old midfielder Lewis Cook and West Bromwich Albion's Jake Livermore.

Neither are even in the standby squad for the tournament, with England's first game coming against Tunisia on June 18.

"Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they're not decisions we took lightly", Southgate told the FA website.

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