England’s attempts to win the World Cup for the first time since 1966 take their latest steps when they meet up for the final time before the tournament in just over a week’s time.
Southgate’s side will face Italy and Germany in the Nations League later this month, with the manager set to announce his squad for those matches on Thursday.
Last time the squad met, after last season, the team went winless across four games, losing both games to Hungary, including a 4-0 battering at home, and draws with their two upcoming opponents.
The manager needs to reinvigorate his side in the final two games before they head to Qatar in November and that could be good news for two forwards.
According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are set to be recalled to Southgate’s squad next week.
Rashford hasn’t made an appearance for the national team since missing a penalty in the shootout at the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
He was last called up in November last year but his form for United saw Southgate drop him for the squads at the end of last season.
Sancho has only played once since that final, where he also missed a penalty, against Andorra, a 5-0 win in a World Cup qualifier in which he set up two goals.
The national team manager, who has led the Three Lions to a semi final and final in the last two tournaments, said in March that Sancho wasn’t ‘too far behind’ the other options in attacking positions.
Jarrod Bowen was subsequently added to those options, getting his first call up to the squad last summer, but failed to make too much of an impression.
With the United pair back in form for Erik ten Hag’s club, with the manager believing Rashford in particular can lead them to the title, they will get another chance.
There isn’t too long left until the World Cup, and no other squads until Southgate must pick his 23, so it’s the last chance for everyone in the squad.
According to the report, Eric Dier could also get his chance in the squad. The centre back was part of the last World Cup squad in 2018 but wasn’t at the Euros.
The 28-year-old has played 45 times for the national team but hasn’t played since a game against Iceland in 2020 but his form for Tottenham Hotspur has been excellent.
He is most valuable in a back three, and Southgate has used that formation regularly, although he is often criticised for being too negative when using it.