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The FIFTY stars in with a chance of being in England’s Euro 2024 squad as Southgate faces biggest selection dilemma ever

GARETH SOUTHGATE has never faced a more complex dilemma in seven and a half years as England manager than his choice of a squad for this summer’s Euros.

There are as many as FIFTY players with realistic ambitions of making the plane for Germany.

Gareth Southgate must whittle down a massive range of options

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Gareth Southgate must whittle down a massive range of optionsCredit: Getty
Eric Dier and Raheem Sterling could miss out

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Eric Dier and Raheem Sterling could miss outCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Man Utd's Kobbie Mainoo, 18, has burst into contention

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Man Utd’s Kobbie Mainoo, 18, has burst into contentionCredit: Getty

But the picture will become clearer on Thursday as the Three Lions boss names a squad to face Brazil and Belgium – the final party he will announce before his Euros 23 is finalised in late May.

Quite simply, any player who is fit and not named in today’s squad can start booking their summer holidays because they will not be off to Germany unless something freakish happens.

Today’s squad is likely to be larger than the 23 players Southgate can name for the tournament.

But some former Southgate favourites are likely to be cut from the picture, including Raheem Sterling, Kalvin Phillips and Eric Dier, while the West Ham pair of Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse could be heading for their sun-loungers too.

Uncapped hopefuls such as the Newcastle pair of Anthony Gordon and Tino Livramento, as well as Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo and Everton centre-half Jarrad Branthwaite will discover whether they are in Southgate’s thoughts.

Versatile Liverpool defender Joe Gomez will re-enter the picture with inclusion in today’s squad and Ross Barkley may also be back after a resurgence at Luton, five years after his last England cap.

Likewise, Rangers keeper Jack Butland could be back in the frame, with Southgate admitting that the goalkeeping area is a ‘problem’ as Nick Pope is injured, while Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson are out of favour at their clubs.

Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins is sure to make today’s squad as the leading English scorer in the Premier League but Ivan Toney and Dominic Solanke are also still in the running to be Harry Kane’s understudy.

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Several players who will miss out through injury today could still make the final squad.

These include Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luke Shaw, Jack Grealish, Pope, Reece James and Marc Guehi.

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In-form Chelsea star Cole Palmer will make Thursday’s squad but still faces huge competition to make the final 23.

Either Grealish or James Maddison would likely have to make way for him.

Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite, linked with Man Utd, is in the running

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Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite, linked with Man Utd, is in the runningCredit: Getty

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