Harry Maguire set for England start as Man United star targets World Cup place

Harry Maguire has endured a difficult 12 months and the start of this season has cast doubts over his future at Manchester United and for England, with the 29-year-old dropped for Raphael Varane at club level.

Maguire has not started a league game for United since the forgettable 4-0 defeat to Brentford in August, with Varane and Lisandro Martinez forming a seemingly unbreakable bond.

Despite his club form, Gareth Southgate showed his faith in Maguire by calling him up for England’s final rehearsal before this winter’s World Cup.

And now, there are reports that he is set to start against Italy tonight as England try to climb out of the bottom of their UEFA Nations League group.

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That’s according to The Athletic, who add that Maguire is believed to be relaxed and confident about the situation as he prepares for his 47th international cap.

Southgate will be able to name a 26-man squad for the World Cup in roughly two months and previously, Maguire has been a permanent fixture in his camps.

SN’s verdict…
It feels like a make-or-break moment for Maguire. Competition for places in the England setup is at an all-time high and although he has never put a foot wrong for England, his club form will be worrying Southgate.

Maguire was arguably England’s best player during their run to the EURO 2020 final last year and that will be in the manager’s thinking.

Nevertheless, he cannot afford to come out of this England camp without impressing – that would leave his place in the England squad in real danger.

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