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Team GB squad: David Beckham and Gareth Bale miss out, but who has made it?

STOP PRESS: Team GB squad announced - CLICK HERE

The London Olympics are less than a month away and Stuart Pearce's 18-man Team GB squad will be announced on Monday.

David Beckham has been left out, Gareth Bale (pictured) has been ruled out with an injury, while Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker and Jack Wilshire could also miss out because of fitness issues.

Ryan Giggs, Micah Richards and Craig Bellamy are the three over-23 players in the squad - but which 15 names will make the cut? 

No place for Becks

Stuart Pearce has made a massive decision in not selecting Olympic ambassador David Beckham for the squad.

Only three players over the age of 23 can be included in each competing squad.

Beckham, who was a major part of the bidding team successful to bring the Olympics to London in 2005, was considered by many to be a certainty to be selected and probably to captain the side too.

It isn’t a popular decision and has caused plenty of surprise but Pearce has never hidden away from making tough and difficult decisions.

Whilst the squad will be announced on Monday, it is already known which three over 23 players the manager has selected. Welsh veteran Ryan Giggs, Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy and right back Micah Richards are in.

The remaining 15 players who will be selected must have been born after January 1, 1989.

As part of the selection process, it was confirmed a while back that any English player who was selected for Euro 2012 would not be eligible to represent Team GB at the Olympics.

Who might be going?

The selection process has been a drawn out affair, which began in January, when it was revealed that 191 players had been contacted and only seven had ruled themselves out.

A shortlist of 80 was created in April and at the beginning of June, it was cutdown to 35 and handed over to FIFA. The shortlist has never been made public to the media.

Some reports suggest that Swansea duo Neil Taylor and Joe Allen might make the cut, with Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsay almost down as a certainty to be heading to the Games.

There could be a strong Welsh presence in the team but the star of the country’s football side is Gareth Bale and he is definitely out of contention.

The 22-year-old, who signed a new deal to stay at Tottenham earlier this week has suffered a recurrence of an old back and hip injury and has informed Pearce of his decision to pull out on medical grounds.

Another strong suggestion is Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge will take the main centre forward role. Sturridge missed out on the Euro 2012 squad with England and is expected to lead the line.

We know Giggs, Bellamy and Richards have definitely made the squad and plenty of other names have been mentioned.

We also know that it isn't really a true Team GB squad, with only English and Welsh players being included.

Potential goalkeepers:

Fraser Forster (Celtic), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough), Jake Kean (Blackburn Rovers), Ben Amos (Manchester United), Declan Rudd (Norwich City).

Potential defenders:

Neil Taylor (Swansea City), Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), John Flanagan (Liverpool), James Tomkins (West Ham United), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Craig Dawson (West Brom), Jack Robinson (Liverpool), Matthew Briggs (Fulham).

Potential midfielders:

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Joe Allen (Swansea City), Scott Sinclair (Swansea City), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool), Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa), Jake Livermore (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Rodwell (Everton), Josh McEachran (Chelsea), Jack Colback (Sunderland), Ross Barkley (Everton).

Potential attackers:

Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Connor Wickham (Sunderland), Jay Rodriguez (Southampton), Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Sam Baldock (West Ham United), Jose Baxter (Everton), Marvin Sordell (Bolton Wanderers), Sam Vokes (Wolves), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur).

SQUAD PREDICTION

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster, Jason Steele.

Defenders: Micah Richards, James Tomkins, Steven Caulker, Neil Taylor, Ryan Bertrand, Kieran Gibbs.

Midfielders: Ryan Giggs, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Jonjo Shelvey, Scott Sinclair, Marc Albrighton.

Forwards: Craig Bellamy, Daniel Sturridge, Wilfried Zaha, Jay Rodriguez.

Fixtures and chances

Team GB were drawn into Group A of the men’s Olympic draw, alongside Senegal, Uruguay and the United Arab Emirates.

The top two from each group will go through into the quarter-finals. The defending champions from Beijing four years ago are Argentina but they failed to qualify for London 2012.

Pearce’s side will start off against Senegal at Old Trafford on July 26, before heading to Wembley to face the UAE three days later.

Then it is a journey to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium to compete against a Uruguay side that potentially could have Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez as their over 23 players in their ranks. This match takes place on August 1.

Other venues hosting events include St. James Park, Hampden Park and the Ricoh Arena, home to League One side Coventry City. The final is at Wembley on August 11.

Brazil and Spain are the current favourites to end up winning the gold medal, although Team GB’s chances of collecting a medal at the very least have to be considered as reasonable.

After all the intrigue, let’s hope Team GB delivers on the football field this summer on what is truly the greatest show on earth.

By Simon Wright – Follow me on Twitter @Siwri88

Team GB fixtures: CLICK HERE

WAS IT RIGHT TO LEAVE BECKHAM OUT?

Giggs, Bellamy and Richards in Team GB squad


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