Mason Mount set for England call up after impressive Chelsea form

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Mason Mount is likely to be rewarded with an England call-up after his impressive early-season form for Chelsea.

The midfielder has caught the eye for Frank Lampard’s Blues and is expected to be included for next month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.

Boss Gareth Southgate names his squad on Thursday and is a fan of Mount, having invited him to train with the seniors before last year’s World Cup.

The 20-year-old, who has scored two goals in four games this term, was called up for the Nations League matches against Croatia and Spain in 2018 but is yet to earn a cap.

James Maddison could be handed a first senior call after a good start to the campaign with Leicester.

The midfielder played for the under-21s in their disappointing Euro 2019 campaign in the summer.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka endured a nightmare tournament, scoring a late own goal as England lost 2-1 to France in his only game for the Young Lions in Italy and San Marino.

The defender was distracted by Manchester United’s interest, with boss Aidy Boothroyd unhappy with the speculation during the competition, before he finally completed a £50million move from Crystal Palace to Old Trafford.

But he has done well at United and is expected to join the senior side to compete with established right-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker.

It leaves Southgate with a selection headache at right-back after he also watched Kieran Trippier in Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 win at Leganes on Sunday.

Tammy Abraham, who made his senior debut against Germany in 2017, is also an option for Southgate.

The striker scored his first two goals for Chelsea in their 3-2 win at Norwich at the weekend.

Southgate and assistant Steve Holland watched Jack Grealish in Aston Villa’s 2-0 win over Everton on Friday and, while the midfielder is on their radar, this squad may have come too soon for the 23-year-old.

Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell has been nursing a hip problem, missing the 2-1 win at Sheffield United, but is expected to be fit.

ben chilwell

Goalkeeper Jack Butland’s poor early-season form for Stoke in the Sky Bet Championship may see him drop out after he was included in the Nations League squad in the summer.

Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson, on loan from Manchester United, Southampton’s Angus Gunn or Burnley’s Nick Pope could replace him.

Burnley’s uncapped striker Ashley Barnes seems a long shot for a call-up despite four goals in his first three games for the Clarets.

Dele Alli has been nursing a hamstring injury but is expected to return for Tottenham to face Arsenal on Sunday, leaving Southgate with a decision to make.

Everton’s Fabian Delph is likely to miss out having been battling a groin problem.

England are top of Group A after two wins from their opening two games.

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

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Wales manager Ryan Giggs insists Man United's Daniel James is no diver

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Wales manager Ryan Giggs says Manchester United winger Daniel James is no diver and needs extra protection from referees.

James was booked for simulation on his first United start in Monday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Wolves, his every touch booed thereafter by the Molineux faithful.

But Giggs said 21-year-old speedster James – who scored on his United debut as a substitute in the opening-day 4-0 win over Chelsea – needs greater protection after being fouled several times at Wolves.

“You’ve seen he gets kicked a lot,” Giggs said after naming James in his 26-man squad for next month’s crunch Euro 2020 qualifier against Azerbaijan in Cardiff.

“Sometimes when you anticipate it, it can look live a dive. The speed he’s going at it can look worse, but I’m not worried about that.

“He gets a lot of stick and referees need to protect him.

Giggs Daniel James

“I watched a lot of the pre-season games and he did well as he usually plays on the left.

“It gives me a different option as well if he’s playing his club football on the right. If I want to do that I can.”

While James has settled in well at United following his £15million move from Swansea, Wales’ talisman Gareth Bale has had a difficult summer at Real Madrid.

The 30-year-old forward had a public fallout with manager Zinedine Zidane and was on his way to the Chinese Super League until a lucrative move collapsed at the last minute.

Bale is now back in Zidane’s plans and started Real’s opening league game last weekend, making the first goal in a 3-1 win against Celta Vigo.

“I kept in touch with him (over the summer) to see if he was all right,” Giggs said.

“It was a strange situation but hopefully now it’s sorted out – Gareth stays and plays games.

“It’s obviously positive at the moment, I’m really pleased with the situation and looking forward to meeting up.”

Asked whether Bale’s Wales career would have proved difficult had he moved to China, Giggs added: “It wouldn’t have been ideal.

“It’s a preference for your players to be in Europe with the travelling and the different calendars, but I’d still have picked him.”

Bale will captain Wales against Azerbaijan.

Bale will captain Wales against Azerbaijan.

Bale will captain Wales in the absence of veteran defender Ashley Williams, who has been left out of the squad as he is currently unattached after being released by Everton in June.

Giggs also confirmed that Bale is Wales’ designated penalty-taker, thus avoiding the situation at his former club United where Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have taken spot-kicks this season.

Aaron Ramsey has previously taken penalties for Wales – converting efforts in Scotland and Serbia – when Bale has not been on the pitch.

Paul Dummett’s international career looks over after he made himself unavailable for Wales duty, the second time the Newcastle defender has done that by saying he wanted to focus on his club football.

Dummett ruled himself out in May 2017 under previous Wales boss Chris Coleman before returning 15 months later, and Giggs said: “I think that will be it.

“I’m not fussed about that. He’s playing in the Premier League, he’s a good defender, but I’ve got options.”

Wales squad

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Danny Ward (Leicester City), Adam Davies (Stoke City); Defenders: Chris Gunter (Reading), Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur), Neil Taylor (Aston Villa), Connor Roberts (Swansea City), Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig, on loan from Chelsea), Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), Tom Lockyer (Charlton Athletic), James Lawrence (Anderlecht), Joe Rodon (Swansea City); Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey (Juventus), Joe Allen (Stoke City), Jonny Williams (Charlton), Harry Wilson (Bournemouth, on loan from Liverpool), Matthew Smith (QPR, on loan from Manchester City), Daniel James (Manchester United), Will Vaulks (Cardiff City), Joe Morrell (Lincoln City, on loan from Bristol City); Forwards: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Sam Vokes (Stoke City), Tom Lawrence (Derby County), Ben Woodburn (Oxford United, on loan from Liverpool), Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen), Kieffer Moore (Wigan Athletic).

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Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey back to boost Wales' Euro 2020 campaign

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Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are ready to boost Ryan Giggs’ bid to get Wales’ Euro 2020 campaign back on track.

Giggs names his squad for next month’s Euro 2020 qualifier at home to Azerbaijan on Wednesday, with Wales playing catch-up in Group E after away defeats to Croatia and Hungary in June.

Wales are six points behind leaders Hungary, albeit with a game in hand, and three adrift of Croatia and Slovakia.

Beating Azerbaijan in Cardiff on September 6 is essential to keeping Wales’ hopes of a top-two spot alive – and boss Giggs has had good news over his key pair.

Bale is suddenly back in favour at Real Madrid after a summer when he had a very public fall-out with manager Zinedine Zidane and appeared to be heading for the Chinese Super League.

The 30-year-old forward started Real’s first league game of the season last weekend and claimed an assist in the 3-1 win at Celta Vigo.

Bale seems to be back in favour at Real.

Bale seems to be back in favour at Real.

Ramsey is also fit after recovering from a hamstring injury and made his debut for new club Juventus in a friendly at Triestina last Saturday.

The new Serie A season starts this weekend and Giggs will be hoping that Ramsey – who has missed Wales’ opening three Euro 2020 qualifiers due to the injuries which blighted the end of his Arsenal career – gets some game-time before reporting for international duty.

Bournemouth forward David Brooks is out of the Azerbaijan game and will also miss the October qualifiers against Croatia and Slovakia after undergoing ankle surgery earlier this month.

But Harry Wilson, now on loan at Bournemouth from Liverpool, and new Manchester United winger Daniel James have both made scoring starts to their Premier League careers.

Speaking about James at a recent Salford City sponsorship launch, Giggs said: “I am excited because I know what he’s capable of.

“A year or so ago he was on loan at Shrewsbury but in the last six months I’ve seen a massive change in him mentally and physically.

“Like any young winger he’s going to be up and down.

“But when he’s on fire he is very difficult to stop and I think in a lot of games this year United fans will be excited.”

Ethan Ampadu, on a season-long loan at RB Leipzig from Chelsea, will return to the squad after missing the June double-header with a back injury.

But Giggs has concerns in central defence as captain Ashley Williams, who turns 35 this week, has been without a club since being released by Everton at the end of last season.

James Lawrence is also out in the cold under new Anderlecht boss Vincent Kompany and Chris Mepham was dropped to the Bournemouth bench last weekend.

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