Chelsea duo Gary Cahill and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been selected in England manager Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Experienced defender Cahill is closing in on his 60th cap for The Three Lions while youngster Loftus-Cheek has graduated into the senior squad after impressing during successful loan spell at The Blues’ English Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.
England boss Southgate named his final squad for the tournament this afternoon and both Chelsea players will be relieved to have been included on the plane to Russia. Cahill had fallen out of favour both with his club and country earlier this year but a recall to the Chelsea starting XI in recent weeks may have played a huge part in saving his summer. Academy graduate Loftus-Cheek impressed in his first two senior appearances for England against Germany and Brazil at Wembley last year and has had to beat off the competition from more senior players to earn his place.
Southgate’s men are fancied to advance from Group G at this summer’s tournament. England start their campaign against Tunisia on 18 June before taking on minnows Panama six days later. The Three Lions wrap up their group fixtures with a match against Belgium on 28 June.