No Harry Kane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, or Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Is this the England squad Gareth Southgate should name to face Bulgaria and Kosovo?

28 Aug

England manager Gareth Southgate will name his squad for the upcoming UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying matches against Bulgaria and Kosovo on Thursday.

Speculation suggests Chelsea starlet Mason Mount could get his first call-up having impressed in his three appearances for the Blues this season.

Mount made it two goals in two games when he scored against Norwich and was later chosen as man of the match by talkSPORT’s Dean Ashton
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The Three Lions currently top their group on goal difference thanks to their thumping 5-0 win against Czech Republic and could fire themselves well clear of their opponents with two victories at the start of September.

Southgate, though, can expect plenty of scrutiny about his squad with huge selection dilemmas throughout the group.

James Maddison’s good form continues despite the England boss’ seeming unwillingness to pick the Leicester ace, while at right Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Kieran Trippier have all started well.

Kieran Trippier appears to have acclimatised to life at Atletico Madrid very quickly
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It promises to be a fascinating squad reveal but how would the 25-man group look if it was picked on statistics from the 2019/20 season?

Here at talkSPORT.com we’ve looked at the best English stars according WhoScored.com and made our selection based on their ratings (out of 10) – and there are some big shocks…

Goalkeepers (3)

Nick Pope (Burnley) – 7.10

Jordan Pickford (Everton) – 6.64

Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth) – 6.55

Ramsdale denies Kyle Walker
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Full-backs (4)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) – 7.29

Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid) – 7.23

Solly March (Brighton) – 7.13

Solly March is starring at left wing-back for Brighton under Graham Potter
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Luke Shaw (Manchester United) – 6.86

Centre-backs (5)

Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) – 7.42

Harry Maguire (Manchester United) – 7.39

Harry Maguire helped United keep a clean sheet against Chelsea
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Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – 7.32

Ben Mee (Burnley) – 7.31

Jack O’Connell (Sheffield United) – 7.14

Midfielders (7)

Mason Mount (Chelsea) – 7.73

James Maddison (Leicester City) – 7.50

James Maddison has been in fine form for Leicester this season
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Ross Barkley (Chelsea) – 7.12

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – 6.99

John Lundstram (Sheffield United) – 6.89

Lundstram scored the winner for Sheffield United against Crystal Palace
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Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) – 6.95

Forwards (6)

Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – 8.57

Jadon Sancho enjoyed a breakthrough season at Dortmund in 2018/19
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Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – 8.29

Ashley Barnes (Burnley) – 8.12

Ashley Barnes has started the season in rich vein for Burnley
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Dwight McNeil (Burnley) – 7.23

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) – 7.21

Nathan Redmond (Southampton) – 6.98

Southampton got off the mark with a win at Brighton – Nathan Redmond scoring in the game
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You can listen to England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo live on talkSPORT

The 13 Premier League stars who have played every minute of the season, including Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United aces

26 Mar

Playing in the Premier League is no mean feat, it is after all considered the most competitive league in the world.

To feature week-in week-out, for every single match is a notable achievement, especially given the demands and rigours of the top-flight.

A knock or a niggle can rule a player out for a game, or see a superstar substituted, while suspensions are always a risk, whether through a sending off or an accumulation of cautions.

Some stars, though, are both relied upon by their team and able to avoid absences and play every minute of every game.

But who are these ever-present players, talkSPORT.com takes a look.


Ben Mee (Burnley – 2790 minutes)

The defender has been an consistent feature in defence for Sean Dyche’s team and should he keep up his appearances, looks on course to beat his Premier League personal tally of 34 matches in 2016/17.

Mee has been an ever-present for Burnley

Jordan Pickford (Everton – 2790 minutes)

The England goalkeeper may have had his critics this season following his World Cup heroics, but he remains Everton’s first choice between the sticks.

Barring injury or something unexpected, Pickford should play every single match for the Toffees for a second successive season.

Pickford has come under criticism for his recent performances

Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City  – 2790 minutes)

Goalkeepers are rarely rotated and it is usually a position managers will leave well alone, once they have found the right fit.

Schmeichel has been No.1 since his move in 2011 and that does not look like changing any time soon.

Kasper Schmeichel is the Foxes No. 1

Alisson (Liverpool – 2790 minutes)

The Brazilian has been a key reason for Liverpool’s title challenge this season.

His arrival has solved the goalkeeping problem that was causing Jurgen Klopp considerable worry in recent seasons and he has the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season with 15.

Alisson has kept the most clean sheets with 15

Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United – 2790 minutes)

It was a masterstroke from Rafael Benitez to sign the Slovakian when he did, as he is now one of the Premier League’s most consistent goalkeepers and the interest from some of Europe’s elite, such as Juventus, is a testament to his talent and growing reputation.

Martin Dubravka has turned in a number of excellent displays

Lukasz Fabianski – (West Ham – 2790 minutes)

The Hammers could not have asked for a more reliable player between the sticks.

Fabianski has only missed three matches in the past five seasons, four of those with Swansea City and he has already featured in every match for West Ham this campaign.

Łukasz Fabiański is Mr reliable

Luka Milivojević (Crystal Palace – 2700 minutes)

While Wilfried Zaha is rightly considered the Eagles most influential player, Milivojević is not too far behind himself, in terms of importance and is enjoying another impressive season.

The Serbian controls the tempo in midfield and is one of the most efficient penalty takers in world football.

Luka Milivojevic makes Palace tick from midfield

Ederson (Manchester City – 2700 minutes)

Now in his second season at the Etihad, Ederson looks as if he has been playing in the Premier League for much longer, such is the ease with which he plays.

Comfortable with the ball at his feet, a modern essential to play in goal, it could be another season he finishes with a league title.

Ederson’s distribution is outstanding

David De Gea (Manchester United – 2700 minutes)

The introduction in recent seasons of Ederson and Alisson to the Premier League has increased the competition among the Premier League’s goalkeepers, but for some De Gea still remains the best.

On his day he is capable of incredible stops and has proved time and time again to be virtually unbeatable. Just ask Tottenham!

David De Gea is considered to be the best in the world

Ben Foster (Watford  – 2700 minutes)

Troy Deeney recently praised the former Manchester United goalkeeper: “The guy eats s***, trains twice a week, turns up on a Saturday and is unbelievable.”

While few, other than his team-mates, can vouch for his diet, whatever he is eating clearly has not hampered his displays come the weekend.

Ben Foster has impressed for Watford

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea – 2700 minutes)

It may not have been his best season in a Chelsea shirt, but the Spaniard remains a figure of consistency and is one of the first names on the team-sheet.

He has missed three league matches in the past four seasons and was trusted to play a vital role by the likes of Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, during Chelsea‘s title winning campaigns.

Cesar Azpilicueta is a dependable figure in the Chelsea side

Neil Etheridge (Cardiff – 2700 minutes)

As far as first seasons go in the Premier League, it has been a respectable one for Etheridge and while Cardiff are in the relegation zone, the 6ft 2 shot-stopper, has earned a reputation for saving penalties.

Etheridge saved two penalties in his first two games this season.

Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers – 2700 minutes)

The former Liverpool defender has been excellent for a Wolves side in contention for European qualification.

Such is his form, Coady’s recent omission from the England squad had to be justified, with a future call-up not ruled out by Gareth Southgate.

Coady has quickly proven his quality at Premier League level

Burnley defender Ben Mee signs new three-year deal with the club

8 Aug

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has seen another of his key players commit to the club with defender Ben Mee signing a new three-year contract.

The 28-year-old has made 248 appearances for the Clarets since joining from Manchester City, initially on loan in 2011 and then permanently the following summer.

Mee has extended his Burnley stay

He had 12 months still to run on his deal but is now tied to the Clarets until June 2021, with the option of a further 12 months.

Mee has been one of the mainstays of Dyche’s side during their Premier League campaigns and follows right-back Matt Lowton in signing a new contract.

Originally deployed at left-back, Mee, a former England Under-21 international, has established himself as an impressive and consistent centre-back in recent seasons.

He is the club’s second-longest-serving player after fellow defender Kevin Long and captained the side for the majority of last season in the absence of the injured Tom Heaton.