The Three Lions manager revealed that he already has a potential XI in mind, but fears that his top stars will be burnt out by the time the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament kick-off next year. Southgate is concerned the Premier League’s packed fixture list and no winter break, plus the World Cup Qualifiers in March will drain his players in the European Championship set to commence in July next year.
Speaking at a media conference following the draw for the World Cup qualifying groups for Qatar 2022, the England manager backs Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp in in being critical over the workload placed on some players. “Jürgen will be like me, looking at what March looks like – when teams are at the end of the Champions League, teams are going for the league title,” Southgate said.
England are currently scheduled to play two World Cup qualifiers in March 2021 before Euro 2020 kicks off in June. They were seeded in the top pot and were drawn against Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra and San Marino in the qualifiers in March next year and could continue for 12 months if England need the play-offs to reach Qatar in 2022.
Earlier, Manchester City star Sterling is struggling with a calf problem and Liverpool skipper Henderson has picked up a hamstring injury. The two star players are the latest to drop out, joining Trent Alexander-Arnold (calf), Joe Gomez (knee), James Ward-Prowse (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), Marcus Rashford (shoulder) and Danny Ings (knee) in the injury bed.
“I think all coaches are concerned about the number of matches,” Southgate added. It’s not one area in particular, it’s the overall volume. We’re in a shortened season. No winter break, which was deemed to be a good idea last year. We’ve got the issue over the substitutions. We’ve known that. When the debate comes up, we were on to how difficult September would be as soon as the leagues restarted.”
Last year, Southgate’s Three Lions celebrated their 1,000th game in style as they booked their place in Euro 2020, thrashingMontenegro 7-0 to top Group A. Captain Harry Kane moved to sixth in England’s list of leading scorers as a first-half hat-trick took his tally to 31, overhauling Frank Lampard, Alan Shearer, Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney.
With Euro 2020 postponed for a year, Gareth Southgate has plenty of time to assemble the best team in Europe. Over the years, England’s XI has always been the star studded squad as the Three Lions recruit powerhouse players and some of the most important names in European football. The most glorious 24-team tournament will now take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021.