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Declan in for England

Declan Rice will be playing for England against Iran.

We have made it clear that we will only cover the World Cup in Qatar – the Qatarstrophe, as we have called it throughout – when there are West Ham players involved.

That only really goes for England and Brazil, with Declan and Lucas Paqueta.

Alphonse Areola will likely be on the France bench, while Thilo Kehrer is a rotation option for Germany.

Declan, though, is central to the way England play and he is likely to play for his country against Wales and the USA too. We will cover those stories as and when they come about.

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Of course, we wish our Hammers in Qatar well and fingers crossed one of them comes back with a medal and the trophy.

Ideally, that would be Declan but, ideally, the tournament wouldn’t be happening in Qatar, and we wouldn’t have to walk this horrible tightrope.

England XI: Pickford, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Rice, Bellingham, Mount, Shaw, Saka, Kane, Sterling

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.