Southgate Names Experimental Squad

Gareth Southgate today named his first squad as the permanent England boss. With the injuries of Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney and Danny Rose, Southgate has been forced in to naming an experimental squad for the friendly in Germany on 22 March and the World Cup qualifier at home to Lithuania on 26 March.

defoe

Image: The Guardian

The main headline has to be the recall of in-form Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, who is in line to earn his first cap since November 2013. The 34 year old has 14 goals in his 27 Premier League appearances so far this term, with Harry Kane being the only Englishman to find the net more often (19).

Elsewhere, there are call ups for a number of players who featured for Southgate in the Under 21s. Southampton duo James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond earn their first call ups to the full side, whilst Michael Keane and Marcus Rashford also make the cut.

Michail Antonio’s impressive season with West Ham has seen the uncapped 26 year old selected over Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, who misses out. Jake Livermore will have the chance to add to his sole cap, picked up in 2012. Luke Shaw takes the place of the injured Danny Rose, despite playing just 2 games since November.

Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck and West Ham’s Andy Carroll had been tipped for a return to the squad after Harry Kane’s injury, but Southgate has deemed them both to have not played enough regular football. Jack Wilshere also doesn’t feature as he looks to concentrate on building up his match fitness.

England Squad:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Torino, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Phil Jones (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Burnley).

Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Michail Antonio (West Ham), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Strikers: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester).

Saints rise to see off toothless Tigers

A first Premier League goal for James Ward-Prowse and Graziano Pelle’s first league goal since December saw Southampton dig deep to overcome a physical Hull side. Ronald Koeman’s team now rise to fifth, whilst the visitors are still precariously positioned above the relegation zone. The one downside for Koeman was Victor Wanyama picking up his tenth yellow card of the season, meaning he’ll miss the games against Stoke and Tottenham.

James Ward-Prowse's penalty was his first goal in his last 83 games for Saints

James Ward-Prowse’s penalty was his first goal in his last 83 games for Saints

Saints could have taken the lead within the first minute, as Shane Long pounced on a loose backpass, however he ran the ball out whilst trying to round Steve Harper. But it was Hull who looked more likely to score early on, with the hosts looking lethargic. Sone Aluko forced a save from Kelvin Davis, but in truth the Southampton stopper never really looked troubled. Aluko had a couple of efforts which went wide and a Tom Huddlestone free-kick summed up the Tiger’s shocking form in front of goal. The hosts’ only clear-cut chance of the first half came when Shane Long almost capitalised on a James Chester slip, instead teeing up Graziano Pelle who was denied well by Harper.

Graziano Pelle ended a run of over 1200 minutes of Premier League football without a goal

Graziano Pelle ended a run of over 1200 minutes of Premier League football without a goal

Steve Bruce was left angered by the referee as Graziano Pelle appeared to move his forearm in to the face of Alex Bruce. In real time it appeared fairly inconspicuous, however Kevin Friend awarded the Italian a yellow card, despite the Hull players’ protests.

The breakthrough finally came as Long burst through and was brought down by Bruce. Sadio Mane picked the ball up, but after a word from Jose Fonte, the duty fell to Ward-Prowse. The twenty year old handled the pressure in an impressive manner, firing the penalty home in a Rickie Lambert-esque fashion for his first Saints goal since 2012. The importance of this goal was emphasised as just minutes earlier, Kelvin Davis had been forced in to an excellent reflex save to prevent Jake Livermore’s low effort that was hit through a crowd of players.

James Chester almost equalised for Hull, as he rose highest from a corner, only to see Ryan Bertrand clear the ball off the line. But the result didn’t ever really look in danger, and it was confirmed with 9 minutes remaining. Dusan Tadic played through Schneiderlin, who unselfishly played it across for Pelle to fire home from 6 yards.

Kelvin Davis saves low to prevent Jake Livermore from equalising

Kelvin Davis saves low to prevent Jake Livermore from equalising

With Tottenham losing against Aston Villa, the victory sees Saints move up to fifth, however Liverpool could overtake them on Monday when they play Newcastle. Hull remain seventeenth, just two points above the relegation zone with six games remaining.


Player ratings

Southampton: K. Davis 8; Alderweireld 7, Fonte 8, Yoshida 7, Bertrand 7; Wanyama 6 (Ward-Prowse, 45, 7), Schneiderlin 6; Long 8 (Elia, 74), S. Davis 7, Mane 6 (Tadic, 61, 6); Pelle 7

Unused: Gazzaniga, Targett, Clyne, Reed

Hull City: Harper 7; Chester 6 (Diame, 64, 6), Dawson 6, Bruce 5, McShane 6; El Mohamady 5, Livermore 7, Huddlestone 7 (Sagbo, 74, 6), Quinn 5; N’Doye 5, Aluko 5 (Hernandez, 84)

Unused: McGregor, Rosenior, Brady, Robertson

Referee: Kevin Friend

Attendance: 30,359