In Summary

  • Harry Kane, Kyle Walker, Sam Johnstone and Harry Maguire returned to their clubs with injuries since Brazil game.
  • Southgate says Henderson would struggle to play 90 minutes on Tuesday given that problem.


Kyle Walker in a past match image/Courtesy


England manager Gareth Southgate has described injury crisis in his squad as worst in the history.

As  he faces Belgium the tactician says his plans have been scattered and he has to reconstruct the team.

“We’re probably finding out about more players, but that’s really helpful. To see all those players against high level opposition will help us make better decisions moving forward.”

Among those players will be Brentford striker Ivan Toney, who Southgate confirmed “will be involved” against Belgium after watching Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins stake his claim for the role of understudy to captain Harry Kane against Brazil.

Kobbie Mainoo – called up from the U21s – is another who has benefited, making his debut on Saturday with Jordan Henderson injured. Southgate says Henderson would struggle to play 90 minutes on Tuesday given that problem.

Rice to Captain England

Declan Rice will enjoy a “pinch me” moment when he captains England on his 50th appearance for his country against Belgium.

The 25-year-old is set to start in midfield at Wembley to reach the milestone for his country and Southgate confirmed – with Kane, Walker and Maguire forced to return to their clubs with injury – Rice will captain the Three Lions.

“He has great leadership experience already at a tender age and I think it’s a brilliant opportunity for some of our younger players to show leadership and experience it,” said Southgate.

“Some of our core group are not with us, so it’s a different dynamic, a great opportunity for others to step up, lead and grow. A lot of the players involved with the squad are the future and the more of those experiences they can have that’s helpful for everybody.”


Further Injuries

The other  absentees includes Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Luke Shaw, Reece James, Marc Guehi, Levi Colwill, Tyrone Mings, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jack Grealish and Callum Wilson.

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