James Ward-Prowse

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Kane, Sterling, Sancho headline England squad for UEFA Nations League finals

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Harry Kane is fit to play for Tottenham and thus, Gareth Southgate expects him ready to feature for England.

Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho headlined a 23-man England National Team squad for the UEFA Nations League Finals. England will face the Netherlands on June 6, with a second game in either the final or third-place game against Switzerland or Portugal. All the matches will take place in Portugal.

“We have got exciting players and picking a squad is really difficult because we have lots of depth of talent, not only the squad we have picked but the U21s as well,” Southgate said in a statement on the FA’s website. “There’s been some difficult decisions to make and we are obviously a little bit complicated with so many players involved in the Champions League as well but we are really excited by the squad and the players that are around it.”

While Kane, Danny Rose, and Eric Dier all made the squad, Southgate cut Harry Winks and Kieran Trippier from the original 27-man squad he named earlier in May. Southampton midfielders James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond were also cut from the squad, but Southgate will keep them training with the group until the players involved in the Europa League and Champions League finals arrive.

With this squad, Southgate has on-paper a pretty decent team to contest the title.

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland, Tom Heaton

Defenders: Danny Rose, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Ben Chilwell, Michael Keane

Midfielders: Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice, Fabian Delph, Ross Barkley, Dele Alli,

Forwards: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Callum Wilson

Southampton, Huddersfield draw (video)

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  • Redmond gave Saints lead
  • Pritchard equalized for Terriers
  • Saints winless in 5 games

Southampton and Huddersfield Town battled to a 1-1 draw on the final day of the season at St Mary’s Stadium.

Nathan Redmond gave Southampton the lead in the first half with a stunning strike, but bottom side Huddersfield equalized in the second half through Alex Pritchard‘s strike.

With the draw Saints finish the season in 16th on 39 points, while Huddersfield have 16 points and finish in 20th in their final game in the Premier League after their relegation was confirmed in March.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Saints started well and Danny Ings cut in from the left before setting up Redmond, but his shot was blocked by a sea of Huddersfield defenders.

Shane Long then had a speculative effort from distance which sailed harmlessly wide, as Huddersfield were increasingly a threat on the counter with Aaron Mooy‘s shot curling just wide.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Before half time Saints finally broke through as Ings again linked up with Redmond and the latter cut inside before curling home a stunning shot to make it 1-0.

Ings caused havoc all game long and he then had a shot blocked at the last moment as Huddersfield’s defense were run ragged.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Saints almost scored their second spectacular goal of the game. James Ward-Prowse let fly from distance but Joel Coleman did superbly to tip the ball onto the bar.

Huddersfield then scored after a horrendous mistake from Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn, as he a failed to control a pass from Ryan Bertrand and Pritchard robbed him of the ball and scored. 1-1.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Both teams huffed and puffed but couldn’t find a winner, as Christopher Schindler went close but the game ended in a draw.

Hasenhuttl masterminds Saints’ survival: Now it gets tough

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Southampton had one win on the board and nine points from their opening 15 games of the season.

They looked certain for relegation. Years of poor decisions in the transfer market had cost them dear. Fans took aim at the new owners and Director of Football Les Reed and Chairman Ralph Krueger (both of whom have left the club this season) for hiring and firing three managers in just over 12 months.

Then Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived for his first taste of English soccer and everything changed. Fans love his enthusiasm on the sidelines and his honesty in interviews created a Jurgen Klopp-esque bond. His first press conference set the tone perfectly. 

The talented but previously unenthused players have ran themselves into the ground and beat the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, Wolves and Everton at home, results which were unthinkable earlier in the campaign.

Hasenhuttl’s clear vision led to gritty displays which saw Saints secure their status as a Premier League side on Saturday after their 3-3 draw with Bournemouth.

Now the really, really hard work starts if Saints are to return to being contenders for a top 10 finish rather than what they’ve now become, perennial relegation strugglers.

The former RB Leipzig head coach knows it.

“We will have a few players leaving. In every position we will try to get better next year,” Hasenhuttl said. “We had a very interesting last transfer period – no signings, just giving players away. This summer we will rebuild. We can start planning for next year tomorrow. A bit less stress would be nice [next season], sitting relaxed outside and taking the points we need. The target is to get 40 points earlier than this year.”

That planning for next season should start right now at Southampton.

The Austrian coach didn’t spend any money in the January transfer window, his only window since arriving at the club, and it is unlikely he will be able to spend that much this summer.

Saints are hamstrung by having expensive signings on long-term contracts who they can’t get rid of.

Similar to the likes of Aston Villa and Sunderland before them, who kept their heads just above water season after season before finally being relegated, Saints are stuck with a bloated squad who haven’t proved their worth.

Wesley Hoedt, Sofiane Boufal, Cedric and Guido Carrillo are all out on loan right now and are unlikely to return. Manolo Gabbiadini was sold to Sampdoria in January. Fraser Forster is one of their highest earners but hasn’t played since December 2017. Mohamed Elyounoussi has barely featured. The list goes on and on.

Quite simply, Hasenhuttl will have to live with the legacy of Saints getting it wrong in several transfer windows since Ronald Koeman left in the summer of 2016. Since that summer they’ve spent over $200 million in transfer fees alone, and although the sale of Virgil Van Dijk and others negate those fees, players are on very large wages for a club of Southampton’s size which is run to be sustainable. They should be in that group of teams just outside the top six, not battling against the drop.

Something drastic has to change, and Hasenhuttl is now the right man to lead these decisions as he’s rejuvenated many members of the current squad in just five months.

The best thing Saints can now do is let Hasenhuttl have the huge clear out they need. Deadwood needs to be chopped.

Whatever it costs, they need to take the financial hit and let players leave on loan or for good, and let Hasenhuttl start the 2019-20 campaign with a fresh, hungry squad. The way he has brought out the best in Nathan Redmond, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and James Ward-Prowse among others proves his skill in inspiring players he inherited.

Imagine if he could actually add a handful of players he wants…

This season has to be the wake-up call that Saints should have had last season when they survived relegation with one game to go. And that was largely down to Swansea’s slump rather than a good run of their own.

Saints’ academy is one of the best in the league and that is where a lot of their fresh talent can come from. Hasenhuttl has put faith in youth his entire managerial career and that hasn’t changed since he arrived in the Premier League, with Yan Valery, Michael Obafemi, Josh Sims and Ward-Prowse all becoming regulars under him. There are others waiting to break through too.

Hasenhuttl has been brave by cutting out more experienced players and he and Southampton have been rewarded for that.

Now Southampton, who don’t have a chairman or anyone in charge of the football side of the club long-term since Krueger left, must back Hasenhuttl. Krueger brought Hasenhuttl in, but the Austrian is happy to remain at the club and continue to push on, with a new leader or sporting director needed to get things right behind-the-scenes.

Saints can now start to focus on next season and they have Hasenhuttl to thank for that.

“We had to take a lot of points [after taking over in December]. If you told me after our first game against Cardiff, when we were five points behind them [that Southampton would stay up], it’s amazing,” Hasenhuttl said. “We deserve this. We invested a lot in this time and learned a lot. We showed how beautiful we can play. The next step must be to get more clinical in some situations. Two games before the end to be clear is fantastic for us.”

Saints safe after 3-3 draw with Bournemouth (video)

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  • Wilson scores twice, including late equalizer
  • Long scores again for Saints
  • Fraser joins Hazard atop PL in assists (13)

Callum Wilson scored his second goal of the game in the 86th minute to give Bournemouth a 3-3 draw with regional rivals Southampton at St. Mary’s on Saturday.

Shane Long and James Ward-Prowse scored for Saints before Matt Targett‘s first Premier League goal put Southampton out front with 23 minutes to play.

Dan Gosling scored Bournemouth’s other goal, with American midfielder Emerson Hyndman coming off the bench to make his first Premier League appearance in almost a year.

Ryan Fraser assisted Wilson’s equalizer, giving him 13 assists and a share of the Premier League lead with Eden Hazard.

Bournemouth moves 13th with 42 points, while Saints are 16th with 38.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Saints led after just 12 minutes through Long, who has scored in three-straight matches at St. Mary’s and put a rebound off the post within minutes of his goal.

Another rare scorer, Gosling leveled the score in the 20th before Wilson’s first gave Bournemouth its only lead in the 32nd minute.

It lasted until just after halftime, when Ward-Prowse continued his knack for scoring fine goals by drilling a low shot through a defenders legs and past a diving Boruc.

Then, call him Mr. 1000 (see below); Targett nabbed his first top flight goal when he nodded a Yan Valery cross past Artur Boruc.

But Wilson was ready to pounce when Fraser sent him forward for his second goal, and he would’ve made it three but had Gunn not made an outstanding save to deny the striker a hat trick and Bournemouth a win.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi gets England call-up

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Gareth Southgate doesn’t wait too long to get a look at England’s youngest prospects.

The Three Lions manager has called up Chelsea’s Callum-Hudson Odoi to the team for this week’s EURO 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

[ MORE: PL Player of Year candidates ]

Hudson-Odoi, just 18, has made 19 appearances for Chelsea this season in all competitions, with five goals. Four of those have come in the Europa League and another in the FA Cup.

To be fair, Southgate’s impressions of Hudson-Odoi extend much further back than this season and the transfer window’s buzz regarding Bayern Munich’s interest in him. Hudson-Odoi has played at most youth levels for England, including its triumph in U-17 World Cup.

Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse was also called into the squad on Monday.