Anxious wait for Gareth Southgate as stars aim to prove fitness before World Cup
England manager Gareth Southgate faces an anxious few days ahead of the final club matches before the World Cup gets under way in Qatar later this month.
The Three Lions boss is set to name his 26-man squad for the finals on Thursday.
Here, the PA news agency looks at those who are definitely out, and those who remain a question mark.
The “devastated” Chelsea full-back confirmed he was out of the World Cup in a social media post on Wednesday. He had looked a certainty for inclusion until he suffered a knee injury in the Blues’ Champions League match against AC Milan on October 11.
James’ Chelsea team-mate was ruled out of the tournament last weekend with a torn hamstring. “I worked so hard to be ready for the World Cup, It has always been a dream of mine. Unfortunately, this won’t be possible following my scan results,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
The Manchester City man impressed in central midfield at Euro 2020 but he underwent shoulder surgery in September, placing his World Cup participation in jeopardy. However, Southgate will be watching closely as the former Leeds player is set to return to action for City against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
Phillips’ City team-mate is another full-back giving Southgate sleepless nights. Walker underwent groin surgery in October and is thought to have a chance of inclusion.
The Everton forward was substituted during his team’s defeat to Leicester at the weekend with a hamstring problem and is another doubt for Southgate to consider.
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