Gareth Southgate stands by Harry Maguire again as Eberechi Eze in line for first England cap and Lewis Dunk recalled

Harry Maguire has kept his place in England’s squad for summer games against Malta and North Macedonia, with Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze the only uncapped selection.

Raheem Sterling and Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope both missed out through injury.

Sheffielder Maguire continues to retain manager Gareth Southgate’s faith with former Hull City loanee Fiakyo Tomori – now at AC Milan – overlooked again. Brighton and Hove Albion centre-back Lewis Dunk is in line for a second cap five years after his first after being called up, along with the recalled Tyrone Mings.

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Former Sheffield United and Hull City defender has long been a key figure under Southgate, and this has once more weighed more heavily than a difficult season with Manchester United when it comes to Southgate’s selection. As a right-footer, Dunk is less likely to challenge Maguire’s place than the left-footed Mings, who deputised for him at the start of the last European Championship.

There is once more no place for former Leeds United loanee Ben White, who left this winter’s World Cup squad early. Although a centre-back by preference, White has been Arsenal’s first choice in England’s strongest position this season – right-back.

With Reece James injured, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold is the third right-back in the squad alongside Manchester City’s Kyle Walker and Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier, although Southgate made reference to the different role he has played at Anfield as food for thought.

The Reds have adapted Alexander-Arnold’s position from overlapping to “inverted” full-back during the run-in, meaning that in possession he plays as a deep-lying playmaker at the base of midfield.

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England play their World Cup qualifiers away in Malta on June 16 and against North Macedonia at Old Trafford six days later. Manchester City’s season does not finish until the Champions League final on June 10 but Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Yorkshireman Kyle Walker, John Stones and Kalvin Phillips are all involved.

DECISIONS: England manager Gareth SouthgateDECISIONS: England manager Gareth Southgate
DECISIONS: England manager Gareth Southgate

Sterling missed March’s games through injury, and the Chelsea forward does so again.

"He’s not happy physically with his condition, he’s been carrying a hamstring problem, so we didn’t get to the point of whether he should be in, whether he should be out.”

Leicester City playmaker James Maddison retains his place.

SQUAD: Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Lewis Dunk, Marc Guehi, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker; Jude Bellingham, Eberechi Eze, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, James Maddison, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice; Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Callum Wilson.