Roy Hodgson has confirmed a 26-man preliminary England squad for this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament in France, with five Liverpool players included.
As expected, the quintet of Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge have all been selected.
Clyne has enjoyed a very impressive first season at Liverpool, proving to be a model of consistency at right-back, and making himself a contender for the club’s Player of the Year award.
The 24-year-old looks likely to be named in Hodgson’s starting lineup for their opening game against Russia on 11th June, but he faces stiff competition from Tottenham‘s Kyle Walker.
Henderson has faced a race against time to be fit for the tournament, having been out since 8th April, but he has done enough to convince the England manager that he is worth taking.
The Liverpool captain is a favourite of Hodgson’s, and barring another injury, he will be one of the first midfielders on the teamsheet.
Milner remains an integral part of the Three Lions’ squad, and the 30-year-old’s versatility will once again be important.
Lallana has enjoyed an increasingly impressive season for the Reds, and he is another who Hodgson seemingly rates highly.
He has a good chance of featuring heavily in France this summer, with a right-sided attacking role likely.
Sturridge’s playing time for England has been limited hugely because of injuries, but he has proved his fitness and earned a deserved call-up.
The striker is more likely to be used as an impact substitute, however, given the exceptional form of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, and Hodgson’s inability to drop Wayne Rooney.
It will be interesting to track the progress of the five Reds players on show for England, as they look to win a first piece of international silverware since 1966.
Euro 2016 gets underway on 10th June, and finishes exactly a month later, on 10th July.
Hodgson will name his final, 23-man squad by the end of the month, with three players set to be cut from his current selection.
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Defenders: Chris Smalling (Man United), John Stones (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Spurs), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Danny Rose (Spurs)
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Spurs), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Fabian Delph (Man City), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester), James Milner (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Spurs), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Andros Townsend (Newcastle)
Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Man United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Harry Kane (Spurs), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Man United)