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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Joe Hart saying his prayers as Pope named in England squad

Gary Cahill axed for Holland and Italy friendlies

Goalkeepers Jack Butland and Joe Hart walk out at Hampden Park
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Four uncapped players have been given the chance to force their way into England's World Cup squad after being selected for the friendlies against Holland and Italy on March 23 and 27 respectively.

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is seen as having the best chance to force his way into the reckoning with Ladbrokes rating him evens to be in Gareth Southgate's final 23-man World Cup squad.

Pope's Clarets teammate James Tarkowski is 6-4 with Betfair to be in the World Cup squad with Swansea's Alfie Mawson 7-2 with the same firm while Bournemouth's Lewis Cook is available at 5-1.

Only three goalkeepers will head to Russia and Southgate faces a big call with his first-choice goalie Joe Hart woefully out of form for West Ham.

Hart has at least kept his place in this squad, although he is one of four keepers alongside Pope, Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford. Gary Cahill is the biggest name who has been axed.

Cahill, who has lost his place in the Chelsea side, has drifted to 6-4 with bet365 to make the World Cup party and Southgate said it was "a difficult call" to leave out the experienced centre-back.

Jack Wilshere, whose price ranges between 4-9 and 4-6 for a World Cup spot, has been handed an international recall and so too has forward Danny Welbeck, who replaces the injured Harry Kane. 

Away from the international scene, Antonio Conte is 8-13 with Coral not to be Chelsea's manager on the opening day of next season's Premier League after the Blues were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona on Wednesday.

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barca moved into the quarter-finals with a 4-1 aggregate success. Conte is 6-5 with Coral to remain at Stamford Bridge.

Betway are 8-1 that Chelsea don't qualify for the Champions League in the next three seasons and they are 2-1 to force their way back in for next term.

England squad v Holland & Italy - goalkeepers: J Hart, J Butland, J Pickford, N Pope; defenders: K Walker, J Stones, H Maguire, K Trippier, D Rose, J Tarkowski, R Bertrand, A Young, J Gomez, A Mawson; midfielders: E Dier, D Alli, J Lingard, L Cook, A Lallana, J Henderson, A Oxlade-Chamberlain, J Wilshere, J Livermore; forwards: J Vardy, M Rashford, R Sterling, D Welbeck.

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Cahill, who has lost his place in the Chelsea side, has drifted to 6-4 with bet365 to make the World Cup party
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