Former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson has explained the difficulty Gareth Southgate will face picking Manchester United duo Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw for the Three Lions.
Both Maguire and Shaw have been called up for the recent England squad to face Italy and Germany in the Nations League. This will be the last time Southgate can assess his options before the winter World Cup in Qatar, which starts in November.
The United defenders have found game time hard to come by at Old Trafford this season. Maguire has been dropped to the bench in favour of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez while injury and the form of Tyrell Malacia has kept Shaw out of the starting line-up.
Discussing United's defenders with BoyleSports Football, Eriksson feels that it is tricky to pick Maguire and Shaw for the World Cup if they are not in Erik ten Hag's plans. "I think it’s difficult for Southgate to pick Maguire and Shaw because if they don't play regularly, it's very difficult to let them play in the national team," the 74-year-old explained.
"It's one thing to train, but it's another to have a regular routine of games. So that's a difficult one."
Neither Maguire nor Shaw are guaranteed to be starters again for their club between now and the start of the World Cup, even if they perform well over the next few days. United have won four straight Premier League matches without the defensive duo and in Ten Hag's short time in Manchester it has become clear that he favours sticking with an unchanged, winning team.