England World Cup squad: Ivan Toney set for first call-up today


Ivan Toney set to be included in Gareth Southgate’s last pre-World Cup England squad as a wildcard option after Brentford striker’s storming start to the Premier League season

Brentford striker Ivan Toney is set to receive his first call-up to the England squad this afternoon.

Toney has enjoyed an outstanding start to the season, scoring five goals in six appearances for the Bees, and his performances have caught the eye of England boss Gareth Southgate.

Sportsmail understands that the 26-year-old will make Southgate’s squad, and will now get the chance to put his case forward for going to the World Cup in Qatar in November, with England’s games against Italy and Germany during the upcoming international break being their final matches before the tournament gets underway.

Ivan Toney is set to be rewarded for his club form by being named in the England squad

England captain Harry Kane has established himself as Southgate’s first-choice striker, but the competition to be his understudy has been fierce for a number of years.

The likes of Ollie Watkins, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Callum Wilson and Patrick Bamford have been given opportunities to stake their claim in the past, but none have managed to nail down their place in the squad.

The latter three are currently dealing with fitness issues, and Toney has managed to jump ahead of them in the pecking order for now, while he is expected to be preferred to Watkins.

Tammy Abraham has also worked his way into England contention over the past 12 months after thriving at Roma.

Harry Kane is England's first-choice striker, but Toney could get a chance as his understudy

Harry Kane is England’s first-choice striker, but Toney could get a chance as his understudy

Tammy Abraham could also make the squad alongside Kane and Toney this afternoon

Tammy Abraham could also make the squad alongside Kane and Toney this afternoon

He has had a relatively quiet start to the season, but scored in his latest outing against Empoli on Monday, and could get the nod from Southgate once more as another option behind Kane.

Meanwhile, England are believed to be checking on the fitness of Marcus Rashford ahead of confirming their latest squad.

The Manchester United forward has returned to form this season, finding the net against Liverpool and Arsenal in recent weeks, but he has not made the trip for the Red Devils’ Europa League match against Sheriff on Thursday night due to a muscle injury.

If he misses out for England, this could increase Toney’s chances of getting some game time against Italy and Germany. 

England are currently checking on Marcus Rashford's fitness after he picked up a muscle injury

England are currently checking on Marcus Rashford’s fitness after he picked up a muscle injury

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