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Sport Football

England dealt fitness scare ahead of Euro 2024 opener as Gareth Southgate handed dilemma

England have a fitness concern on their second day at Euro 2024.

  • Jun 12 2024
  • 0
England dealt fitness scare ahead of Euro 2024 opener as Gareth Southgate handed dilemma
England dealt fitness scare ahead of Euro 2024 opener as Gareth Southgate handed dilemma

Gareth Southgate

England boss Gareth Southgate has been dealt a fitness concern ahead of the Euro 2024 opener (Image: Getty)

England defender John Stones has missed training on Wednesday due to illness. The Manchester City star has endured a stop-start build-up to Euro 2024 and will hope to be fit for the Three Lions’ tournament opener against Serbia on Sunday.

All 26 players took part in at least some of a training session on Tuesday, with the session conducted in front of several hundred German locals. That number includes Luke Shaw, who has not been seen since he suffered a hamstring tear while playing for Manchester United in February.

England’s players emerged for Wednesday’s training session at their Weimarer Land Spa and Golf resort, Blankenhain, this morning. However, it was revealed that Stones would not take part.

It is claimed that the 30-year-old is suffering from illness. That will be a concern for head coach Gareth Southgate, who is set to name Stones in his line-up for Sunday’s Group C clash with Serbia.

The centre-back is likely to start alongside Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi at the heart of England’s defence. His absence from training will therefore come as a blow to Southgate who will make his final preparations for Serbia over the coming days.

Stones made only 16 Premier League appearances for Man City last season. A hip problem kept him out for the first two months of the campaign.

The former Everton player played in just 21 minutes of City’s final seven matches. Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake were preferred at centre-back by Pep Guardiola during that period, with Stones forced to watch on from the bench.

John Stones

John Stones has missed England's training session today due to illness (Image: Getty)

Stones was withdrawn at half-time during England’s 1-0 defeat by Iceland last Friday. A tussle with Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson less than a minute into the game at Wembley saw the Iceland goalscorer land on Stones’ ankle.

Southgate insisted that the substitution was precautionary and that England did not want to take a “chance” on Stones’ fitness. He appeared to be over the problem when the Three Lions landed in Germany at the start of this week.

Meanwhile, Man Utd defender Shaw is widely expected to be fit for England’s second Group C game, against Denmark on June 20. The 28-year-old missed large parts of the season with a hamstring injury, which he injured again during a Premier League win over Luton on February 18.


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