Brentford’s Ivan Toney is expected to win his first England call-up when Gareth Southgate names his latest England squad at 2pm.
The news comes after doubts over Marcus Rashford’s fitness, with the 24-year-old still feeling the effects of an injury picked up in the 3-1 Premier League victory over Arsenal on September 4, when he scored twice to take his season’s tally to three.
Having sat out United’s opening Europa League game, a 1-0 home defeat to Real Sociedad, Rashford will again be missing for their second group game away to Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday.
As a result, Southgate has moved to include Toney, who has scored 13 Premier League goals since January, in the squad.
The 26-year-old has scored 17 top-flight goals and registered six assists in 39 appearances for the Bees since the start of last season, and scored a 28-minute hat-trick in the thrilling 5-2 at home to Leeds on September 3.
He has not been capped by England at any youth age group and was reportedly courted by the Jamaican Football Federation last year in an attempt to persuade him to declare his allegiance to them.
England face Italy away on Friday September 23 at 7.45pm, before hosting Germany on Monday September 26 at 7.45pm.
More to follow…
‘Penalty king Toney has more than justified his inclusion’
Sky Sports’ Dan Long:
“It has been 83 long years since a Brentford player last won a senior England cap. There are precious few Bees fans still with us who will have been alive when Les Smith made a substitute appearance against Romania on May 24 1939, less than four months before the outbreak of World War Two. Even fewer, if any, will remember the occasion.
“But that near century-long wait is likely to soon come to an end.
“It is a more than justified inclusion for 26-year-old striker Toney, who was playing in League One just four seasons ago. Before his move from Peterborough to west London, he made it abundantly clear that he was so confident in his ability that he could step up to the Premier League. The claim was scoffed at by many.
“In 2021/22 – the Bees’ first top-flight season since 1946/47 – he led the line admirably, with 17 goal involvements in 33 league appearances and he has started this campaign with an added spring in his step, with five goals from just six shots on target – including a superb hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Leeds – and another two assists.
“He is not afraid to get stuck in elsewhere on the pitch, which often goes unnoticed. He is often a key presence when Brentford defend set-pieces, has won 20 aerial challenges so far and attempted six crosses. There is a certain selflessness to his game.
“But what is most interesting, from an England perspective, is Toney’s penalty record. He has been Brentford’s first-choice spot-kick taker ever since joining the club and he has scored every single one of the 18 he has taken. Back in March, Bees head coach Thomas Frank said he is the ‘best penalty taker in the world at this moment in time’
“Toney has often been, lazily, dubbed a penalty merchant and nothing more. But as has been the case in the past, he has had the last laugh.”
England’s World Cup group B fixtures
November 21: Iran (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan) – kick-off 1pm
November 25: USA (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor) – kick-off 7pm
November 29: Wales (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan) – kick-off 7pm
Gareth Southgate has unveiled his final pre-World Cup England squad – but who would make your starting XI?
What would your England starting XI look like if the World Cup started today and all players were available? Use our interactive selector to pick your team below, screenshot your selections and share on Twitter @SkyFootball.
Arsenal FC XI vs Lyon: Predicted lineup, confirmed team news and injury latest for Dubai Super Cup friendly
A handful of players remain unavailable while continuing on their path to World Cup glory in Qatar, such as Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
Furthermore, those knocked out of the tournament will not feature with Takehiro Tomiyasu in particular asking for a break from football following Japan’s heartbreak against Croatia in the last-16.
Granit Xhaka flew straight from Qatar to Arsenal’s camp acoss the desert but is highly unlikely to feaure against Lyon.
Arsenal await their return with a mid-season trip to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp and this, the first of three friendlies.
Already, the Gunners have played a behind-closed-doors match with Watford that could shed some light on Arteta’s approach to this week’s games.
Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Magalhaes and Eddie Nketiah all started the 4-2 defeat before a team of academy players entered the fray after the break.
This included Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, Ethan Nwaneri and Lino Sousa. Given the youngsters conceded three goals without reply against Watford, they are likely to again have to settle for substitute appearances in the Lyon friendly.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Hein; Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Elneny, Lokonga, Odegaard; Nelson, Nketiah, Marquinhos.
Hansi Flick to remain Germany manager despite World Cup group-stage exit | Football News
Hansi Flick will remain as Germany coach despite the four-time World Cup winners exiting this year’s tournament in the group stages.
He will remain in charge of the country until at least Euro 2024, at the end of his existing contract.
Flick only took charge of the national team last year, on the back of leading Bayern Munich to the Champions League and two Bundesliga titles in as many years.
He succeeded Joachim Low, who led Germany to the World Cup in 2014, before a shock group-stage exit in 2018 and a last-16 defeat by England at Euro 2020 last year.
Under Flick, they were unable to reach the knockouts for a second straight World Cup thanks in large part to a 2-1 defeat by Japan, with a draw against Spain and victory over Costa Rica insufficient to send them through.
Speaking after that surprise elimination, Flick said: “If you know me and my team, I know we can get up quickly and recover from that. Now we need to assess our work during the World Cup and head in a different direction. This is the next step we are going to undertake and we will do that very soon.
“For the future of German football, we need to train differently. We will work on a future that is very important and very decisive, and we will see how we can implement our idea.
“For years we’ve been talking about new goalkeepers and wingbacks, but what was always good was that we defended well. We need the basics to be right.”
The ManningCast revolution should not have been televised
It would be interesting to see how much ESPN was responsible for of the $1.5 billion that Disney lost last quarter in the streaming section. What section of the Mothership do the contracts for Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and the Mannings fall under? After a year-plus, the nuance of the ManningCast has worn off. It Isn’t leading podcasts, and it’s easier to skip the second screen and just watch the easily digestible clips that ESPN uploads on the app while the game is going.
For whatever reason, Monday Night Football is just another primetime game, and it doesn’t have the luxury of being able to flex out games like Steelers-Colts or even the Bucs-Saints contest that was unwatchable for three-plus quarters. There’s an argument, and a pretty compelling one, that Buck and Aikman’s Fox Game of the Week slot was better than ESPN’s Monday showcase. There’s no doubt Sunday Night Football is preferable due to the pliability of the schedule.
I don’t care how charming Peyton and Eli are, if the teams on the field don’t matter, the audience will find something else to do on the trillions of streaming options. The ManningCast spinoffs suffer for the same reason that no NBA studio show can replicate Inside the NBA. Charles Barkley’s charisma cannot be duplicated just like the chemistry and repartee between two Super Bowl-winning brothers can’t be recreated.
Alex Rodriguez and Michael Kay calling a game is an actual nightmare of Red Sox fans and the hoards of people who hate the Yankees and/or A-Rod, of which there are many. Pat McAfee used his connections with Peyton and Omaha Productions to develop a simulcast for college football, which is never going to work no matter how much he grows on you.
Baseball, basketball, and even college football don’t have a weekly monopoly of viewers. There’s always another game to flip to in the NBA and MLB, so the alternative to a shitty national broadcast game is a different matchup. The Association slashed their League Pass prices this year, and it’s never been easier to find illegal streams.
Primetime NFL games are routinely atop the ratings because they have the night to themselves, and half the reason viewers switch to ESPN 2 is because the game is an abomination. When a hyped Saturday showcase fizzles out, there are a million other options to watch, and none of them are McAfee screaming through a blowout. I can’t imagine that it’s worthy of a four-hour chunk of ESPN 2’s college football Saturday.
The ManningCast ratings are whatever and have plateaued during the second season. But, yes, let’s dedicate a production team and everything else that goes into it for a little over a million viewers on a channel that’s in direct competition with the one we want everybody watching.
I don’t see how a ManningCast on Sunday night would benefit NBC because they shut down their nationally dedicated sports network, and it would run on USA or Peacock. I guess Amazon could try something on Thursdays, but they have an even shittier schedule, and people have a hard enough time remembering the game is on Prime — or that it’s even on at all.
The worst attempts are cheap knockoffs, with outlets throwing talking heads in front of a camera and having them regurgitate the same takes they’ve been spewing all week. Fucking hell, I can’t watch the pregame as it is, and now I’m supposed to spend an extra three hours with some I can’t stand for a half hour? Absolutely not.
It’s really hard to be engaging for long stretches on a PG-13 restriction. That’s why I wait for the perfectly cut clips of Peyton and Eli. The show doesn’t work for a full four wuarters, and a bad game bogs down the show like a bad host makes for a clunky SNL. The Manning bros are more or less live-streaming a football game interspersed with big-name guests that normal sportscasters can’t book.
It’s successful because of the two hosts. You know what I’d also watch those two lovable idiots do? Play charades like in the Caesars commercial. The way Eli delivers, “It’s 27 words” is hilarious, and Peyton telling his teammate to “Stop guessing helmet catch” is incredible. Who knows if they’d work in a studio setting just because most of what they do best is a product of filling time. The lasting moments from Inside the NBA come when Chuck, Shaq, and Kenny go off the rails after a long night in Studio J.
Now that we’ve arrived at the juncture where I’m repeating previously stated points, I’ll finish with this. The ManningCast didn’t revolutionize sports programming. Certain athletes are better at broadcasting than others, and they’re afforded a format that’s not replicable in any other sport, not even its amateur version. They’ve been remarkable in an opportunity that’s possible for 0.000000001 percent of sportscasters.
Kudos. Congrats. It worked for a company that lost a billion five in a quarter and hasn’t been able to duplicate it. You want to revolutionize sports media? Create whatever comes after Twitter.
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