England stars left sweating on place in Euro 2024 squad amid defensive crisis… with Gareth Southgate set to use extra places to bolster injury-hit back line

  • Gareth Southgate faces an injury crisis before England squad announcement 
  • Star defenders could miss out on Euro 2024 despite an increase in numbers 
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England head coach Gareth Southgate faces a defensive injury crisis to leave a host of his high profile forwards sweating on their places in the final Euro 2024 squad.

The national team boss will name a provisional party of 30-plus names for the tournament at St George’s Park on Tuesday afternoon with a view to making the final cut for the forthcoming European Championships on June 8.

But because of major concerns over a number of the team’s most experienced defenders, Southgate is giving serious consideration to using his three-man cushion, after UEFA extended squad limits from 23 to 26, on easing his issues at the back.

Players such as Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, Ivan Toney and James Maddison, while hopeful of being included in today’s extended party, face an anxious wait to discover whether they make the confirmed party for the tournament.

Similarly, Raheem Sterling is not expecting to be in the squad as the Chelsea star faces up to missing his first international tournament since 2014.

Gareth Southgate faces a defensive injury crisis ahead of England’s Euro 2024 squad reveal
Players such as James Maddison and Jack Grealish have an anxious wait to discover their fate
Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire have missed key games at the end of the season with injuries

In defence, Luke Shaw hasn’t played since February due to a hamstring problem with his inclusion in the final squad in question, although it remains to be seen if Southgate selects him in hope that the Manchester United left-back can improve his fitness sufficiently enough during the pre-tournament training camp, which includes warm-up games versus Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland, to play a part in Germany.

But in addition to the issues over Shaw’s availability, England have concerns over the fitness of Harry Maguire, who hasn’t played for close to a month, Reece James, who has played just 30 minutes in 2024, and Ben Chilwell, who has played just 12 minutes since March 26.

Similarly, stalwarts Kieran Trippier and John Stones have missed much of the season’s climax due to injury and non-selection.

As a result, Southgate is ready to bolster his defensive options with the likes of left-footed Levi Colwill, Ezri Konsa and Joe Gomez hopeful of having the opportunity of at least being named in Tuesday’s extended squad.

Reference

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