Countdown to Euro 2020: Daily briefing
Gareth Southgate finalised his 26-man squad for the tournament yesterday, with Trent Alexander-Arnold included as a fourth right-back, while Jesse Lingard, Aaron Ramsdale, Ben Godfrey, Ben White, James Ward-Prowse and Ollie Watkins were dropped. The six have continued to train with the England team, though, and will feature tonight. Mason Greenwood has returned to Manchester United due to an injury that rules him out of the tournament.
Harry Maguire is a doubt for England’s opener against Croatia and will be absent tonight, while the likes of Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish will be hoping to prove their fitness after long-term injury lay-offs. The friendly should also offer chances to players currently outside of Southgate’s first XI after those involved in the Champions League final arrived late to the international camp. Austria will be relying on their talisman, David Alaba, who has joined Real Madrid from Bayern Munich this summer, however, the world No 23 ranked side should, in theory, not pose too many problems.
Follow all the action from Middlesbrough throughout the night live below:
J-LINGZ GETTING READY WITH SOME JACKO
Jesse Lingard has been known to rev himself up with a little Michael Jackson dancing. Same tonight J-Lingz?
Dylan Terry2 June 2021 18:08
WHERE WILL TRIPPIER PLAY?
Kieran Trippier – who accompanied Gareth Southgate in the squad announcement press conference yesterday – will start tonight. However, we are not sure whether he will play at left-back or right-back.
If he ends up on the left, that could mean Trent Alexander-Arnold comes into the starting line-up on the other side. Alternatively, Trippier on the right will likely see Bukayo Saka on the left.
Dylan Terry2 June 2021 18:05
HIT THE PITCH JACK
May also be a big night for Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish. He has suffered fitness issues over the past few months due to a ‘loading injury’ in his shin. He has only played 90 minutes once since the middle of February.
That game did come on the final day against Chelsea, but he will want to prove he is fully match fit this evening.
Dylan Terry2 June 2021 17:55
If Harry Kane plays tonight, he will be looking to score his 35th international goal. He is currently sixth on the list of the Three Lions’ all-time top scorers.
- Wayne Rooney – 53
- Bobby Charlton – 49
- Gary Lineker – 48
- Jimmy Greaves – 44
- Michael Owen – 40
- Harry Kane – 34
Dylan Terry2 June 2021 17:45
The England players went straight to social media after being included in the final squad yesterday. And my excitement ramped up even further after reading what they had to say. Here are some of the highlights.
Dylan Terry2 June 2021 17:35
TIME FOR TRENT?
All the talk yesterday was about whether Trent Alexander-Arnold was going to be included in the final 26. He was! But now people will be asking if he will start the first game against Croatia. Could we get an insight into Southgate’s thinking this evening?
Dylan Terry2 June 2021 17:25
Forgot to exclude Jadon Sancho from those available earlier. He is suffering from what Gareth Southgate has described as a ‘minor throat problem’.
But Sancho’s 17-year-old teammate Jude Bellingham could feature for England as he looks to pick up his third cap.
Dylan Terry2 June 2021 17:22
SOUTHGATE ON LINGARD
Gareth Southgate praised Jesse Lingard when he was asked about the decision to omit him from the final 26-man squad yesterday. He also confirmed he will play tonight.
The England boss said: “Jesse did really well to get himself back in the race. Because back in January he was a millions miles away from being considered for an England squad.
“I said in March that he’d had a fabulous few weeks but he was slightly fortunate because we were without three or four wide players at that time.
“He was excellent for West Ham and he plays so well for us – we have total trust in the way he plays. He’s reliable, he’s a great member of the group.
“He will play tomorrow because we’ve got [Jadon] Sancho ill, we’ve obviously got a lot of players not available and he’ll start to help the balance of the team.
“He deserves that opportunity to go and show me that I’m wrong straight away. The lads that are with us are the standby list and we need to keep them match ready.”
Dylan Terry2 June 2021 17:15
RIVERSIDE STADIUM WELCOMES ENGLAND
England are playing at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium this evening in front of a bunch of excited fans from the North East. There will be 8,200 fans in attendance as football continues to welcome back supporters following the coronavirus pandemic.
It is also the first time since 2003 that the Riverside Stadium has held an international. The last time England played at the ground they beat Slovakia 2-1.
Dylan Terry2 June 2021 17:05
ALL EYES ON SOUTHGATE
Gareth Southgate’s selection will be intriguing tonight. A number of players will be hoping to make an impact just 11 days out from the opening group game against Croatia. Jack Grealish, Jordan Henderson, Bukayo Saka to name just a few.
Dylan Terry2 June 2021 16:55