The success of English sides in European club finals costs Gareth Southgate’s selection of 26-man squad for Euro 2020 football matches in turmoil as the tournament nears. As many as 11 England players is set to miss the warm-up games against Austria and Romania ahead of the European Championships. The pandemic-postponed European Championships will now take place from June 11 to July 11, 2021.
Earlier this year, England announced a friendly match against Austria and Romania on June 2 and 6 respectively, before playing their first match against Croatia on June 14. The Europa League final featuring Manchester United takes place on May 27, while the all-English Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea will happen three days after on May 30.
With United playing in the Europa League final on May 27, Dean Henderson, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford will likely miss the visit of Austria. Meanwhile, Southgate has Kyle Walker, John Stones, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling at City and Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount at Chelsea that will be doubtful for the Romania match following Champions League final.
“The more trophies they win, the more times they get to finals, the more times they play in those big moments, the better it is for us, because we only have a certain number of opportunities to do that internationally,” Southgate said in March.
UEFA has given England, Wales, Scotland and the other teams competing in the Euro June 1, ten days prior to the opening match, to register their squads. Southgate, however, is likely to announce who he is taking beginning May 23, following the end of the Premier League. Southgate also promised that he will try to ensure all England’s players will have at least a week’s rest after they finish their domestic league.
During the qualifiers in 2019, Southgate’s Three Lions celebrated their 1,000th game in style as they booked their place in Euro 2020, thrashing Montenegro 7-0 to top Group A. They were drawn to Group D in the Euro 2020 group games, along with Scotland, who have never reached any major tournament since 1998 World Cup, Croatia and Czech Republic.
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