Gareth Southgate will have a pretty firm idea of the 23 men he’ll be taking to Russia with him this summer.
He has a few more friendlies to iron the finer details out but tactics, game plan and players should be virtually in place. He’s been quite firm on his selection process in the past, claiming he won’t pick players that aren’t playing. Which begs the question, who is he going to pick then?
It’s been an interesting month or so for the English talent gracing the Premier League, with many finding themselves out of favour or in a battle for fitness.
From goalkeeper all the way through to strikers there is trouble for the Three Lions manager, with nobody, the obvious aside, really having any sort of form.
A couple of years ago you’d have said Joe Hart will be England’s number one well into his 30s. Since he turned the big 3-0 he’s looked like falling out of the set-up completely though.
He’s failing to get a start for West Ham; his parent club Manchester City don’t want him either.
Elsewhere Jordan Pickford finds himself in an Everton side devoid of confidence and Jack Butland has just five clean sheets in 26 games with Stoke.
Fraser Forster hasn’t been first choice for some time and Nick Pope may not be guaranteed a place at Burnley if Tom Heaton returns from injury.
Kyle Walker is perhaps the only player a definite starter for Southgate in defence this summer. He’s been magnificent for Manchester City since making the switch from White Hart Lane and a number of free football tips are backing him to make the Team of the Tournament.
Elsewhere it’s up for debate. John Stones has seen himself benched for the last six fixtures, while Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have all had their criticisms and spent time on the bench recently.
Harry Maguire looks to be a shining light of the current misery for England, and you’d have to think the Burnley pairing of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski have to be in with a chance given Southgate’s stance on form and game time.
Dele Alli and Eric Dier continue to be regulars for Tottenham, while a surprise return for Jack Wilshere puts him now firmly in the driving seat for a World Cup call up .
Raheem Sterling has been phenomenal but is returning from injury, as is Adam Lallana who is really struggling to get back to his best.
Teammates Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain haven’t really been consistently on the pitch and Theo Walcott also needs to get some consistency at across Stanley Park at Everton if he’s going to make the squad.
It’s all starting to look a little bleak. Then of course we come to Harry Kane. The Spurs striker will look to continue on his hot spell that has catapulted him to one of the world’s best, but there’s still a battle on to take the places around him.
Jesse Lingard has been a regular for United and could take a wide spot, but the young Marcus Rashford has found himself in exile, having played just 97 minutes of football in 2018.
Jamie Vardy should get the nod having continued his good form into this season, while it’ll be all to play for the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe who desperately need games.
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens as the season comes to a close. To say England’s elite are struggling is an understatement. Is another disappointment almost inevitable?