England manager Gareth Southgate is preparing to deny requests from Premier League managers as he prepares to gather his squad for the penultimate time before the World Cup
Gareth Southgate will refuse any requests from Premier League bosses to give England players an extra break.
Three Lions boss Southgate names his squad for the four Nations League fixtures next month on Tuesday and is already stressing the importance of the games. England will face Hungary in Budapest, Germany in Munich and then Italy and Hungary again at Molineux from June 4 to June 14 in what is effectively a mini end of season tournament.
Liverpool ’s players – Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold – will be given an extra few days off after the Champions League final so will almost certainly miss the game in Hungary on June 4 but could be involved against Germany three days later. They will also be involved for the games with Italy and Hungary – on June 11 and 14 respectively – in Wolverhampton and Southgate will also ignore any calls from club managers wanting players to get an extra break in a gruelling World Cup year.
Manchester City pair John Stones and Kyle Walker both missed games in the run-in with niggling injuries but were back in he squad for the final day. Furthermore, Arsenal forwards Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have been nursing knocks while Mason Mount and Declan Rice have had gruelling seasons.
But England’s results in the Nations League games contribute to their seeding in the Euro 2024 qualification draw plus also they are playing top class opponents in Italy and Germany and want a proper test. It is also the penultimate England camp before the World Cup and therefore Southgate will stress the importance of every single training camp and the preparation.
There is likely to be a call-up for West Ham ’s Jarrod Bowen who has been close before and, although Southgate has been reluctant to call up new faces with Qatar just six months away, his form has been irresistible. Bowen has scored 12 goals, provided ten assists and Southgate did say that he would have been in the last squad but for injury.
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It also comes at a time when Marcus Rashford has been struggling for game time while Jadon Sancho has also been out of form at Manchester United. Arsenal defender Ben White will be a doubt because of the hamstring injury which forced him to miss games during the run-in.
But Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi is keen to be involved despite suffering an ankle ligament injury issue in the past few weeks. There could be a recall for AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori who has been in excellent form as he helped the Italian giants win the Serie A title and is on Southgate’s radar.
England possible squad: Pickford, Ramsdale, Pope; Alexander-Arnold, James, Coady, Maguire, Mings, Shaw, Stones, White; Bellingham, Gallagher, Henderson, Mount, Rice, Ward-Prowse; Foden, Grealish, Kane, Smith Rowe, Sterling, Abraham, Bowen.
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