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England up to twelfth in FIFA World rankings

England have moved from 15th to 12th in the world rankings. Credit: PA

England and the Republic of Ireland have risen in this month's FIFA's world rankings, while Scotland climbed too despite missing out on World Cup qualification.

England, who qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia with wins over Slovenia and Lithuania, climbed three places to 12th in the rankings led by World Cup holders Germany, football's world governing body announced on Monday.

Gareth Southgate's side are now the leading home nation after Wales, who, like Scotland, missed out on the finals, fell a place to 14th.

The Republic, who progressed to the World Cup play-offs, rose eight places to 26th, while Scotland climbed 14 places to 29th despite missing out on a place in Russia 2018 - a result which subsequently saw Gordon Strachan depart as boss.

Northern Ireland fell three places to 23rd despite advancing to the play-offs.

Brazil are second in the rankings and Portugal third, with Argentina fourth, Belgium fifth and Poland sixth in an unchanged top six.

France climbed a place to seventh and Spain returned to the top 10, climbing three places to eighth.

Chile stayed in ninth despite missing out on World Cup qualification and Peru rose into the top 10 for the first time after qualifying for the intercontinental play-off against New Zealand.

FIFA World rankings Top 15

  • Germany
  • Brazil
  • Portugal
  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Poland
  • France
  • Spain
  • Chile
  • Peru
  • Switzerland
  • England
  • Colombia
  • Wales
  • Italy

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Butland determined to make most of England start

Butland will replace Hart in goal for England in Lithuania. Credit: PA

Jack Butland is determined to make the most of just his second competitive England start.

A long injury lay-off robbed the Stoke goalkeeper of 16 months and the chance to displace Joe Hart, making the 24-year-old all the more determined to impress.

Gareth Southgate has confirmed Butland will be one of the changes for Sunday's final World Cup qualifier against Lithuania - a dead rubber ideal for experimentation in terms of tactics and personnel.

The keeper's second competitive England appearance will come in the same place as his first, having started in Vilnius with Euro 2016 qualification already wrapped up two years ago.

"My motivation...my desire to keep playing and being as good as I can," the Stoke player said ahead of winning his sixth cap.

"Obviously the injury was a really big setback for me at a point where I thought there was an opportunity for me to take a spot, if you like.

"So, yeah, after coming off the season I had at Stoke to then have that happens was tough and to miss 16 months in the end.

"I was 19 when I made my debut and a hell of a lot has happened since then, ups and downs, but I'm still 24, I am back where I want to play in terms of playing in the Premier League and being in the international set-up.

"What's gone has gone and I'm looking forward to being successful for club and hopefully country as well."

Dele Alli banned for one England game

Dele Alli will only miss one England international match Credit: PA

England midfielder Dele Alli has been banned for one international match for his gesture during the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia earlier this month, world governing body FIFA has announced.

Alli has also been fined 5,000 Swiss francs (£3,800) following the incident, although FIFA's disciplinary committee said it accepted the gesture had not been aimed at the referee.

A FIFA spokesman said: "Following the incident that occurred during the match between England and Slovakia on 4 September 2017.. Dele Alli has been sanctioned with a suspension for one official match, and a fine of CHF 5,000 for making an offensive and unsporting gesture."

The FIFA spokesman added: "Although the Disciplinary Committee was not convinced that the player directed the gesture at the referee, and regardless of whether it was allegedly directed at a team-mate, it did consider such gesture to be offensive and unsporting and therefore it amounted to a violation of art. 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code."

TV footage showed the 21-year-old swearing shortly after a collision with Martin Skrtel, but the player was quick to stress that it was aimed at team-mate Kyle Walker rather than the officials or any Slovakia player.

Prior to the suspension being announced, England boss Gareth Southgate said he hoped Alli would learn from his mistake.

Southgate told the FA's official website: "I've had a good chat with Dele about a lot of different things but the biggest disappointment for him is to miss football.

"So the outshot of all of this is that he recognises the responsibility and it's important for him and us that he's available for games which he wants to play.

"He's a young player, a young man and young people are going to make mistakes - old people make plenty of mistakes.

"For certain, he knows something like what happened that night won't happen again."

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