England players free to BOYCOTT World Cup 2018, admits Gareth Southgate

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Gareth Southgate has announced his England squad for the upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy, and there are a few suprises.

Gary Cahill, Michael Keane and Chris Smalling are among the players to miss out, but Liverpool duo Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana - injured earlier in the season - are back and Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook could be in line for his first cap.

When asked in the Commons about Football Association senior officials travelling to the World Cup, May said she was sure they will want to be considering their position, but stressed it was theirs to make.

Jack Wilshere is also set to be handed a World Cup lifeline when Southgate names his latest England squad.

Burnley pair Nick Pope and James Tarkowski have both received their maiden England nods, as has Swansea centre-back Alfie Mawson and Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook.

I will be looking at which Manchester United players have the best chance of boarding the plane to Russian Federation.

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Southgate insisted Wilshere's omission was down to the fact that he was not playing regular first-team football at the Emirates Stadium.

They kick off against Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18 and Southgate says the safety of everybody associated with England is paramount. The key for me is that he is playing in the games that matter for Arsenal. His technical ability in the middle of the park will be very useful.

'We want to keep him involved but there's good competition for places'.

Cook lifted the Under-20 World Cup a year ago and was rewarded by being called up into the senior squad for the first time in November for a friendly against Brazil at Wembley Stadium.

Southgate added on the battle to line up between the sticks: "Clearly the number one jersey is up for grabs".

"We've been to previous tournaments and lost important players and the whole focus has been on that rather than the collective".

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