Gareth Southgate will play heartbreaker on Tuesday when he is forced to axe seven players from his Euros squad.
Southgate has to finalise his 26 man squad and inform UEFA on June 1 and has pushed back his pre-match preparations for Wednesday’s friendly with Austria so he can break the news to the unlucky players.
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold is at risk while Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse is another who has been left sweating on his Euros place as Southgate has begun putting the final touches to his squad with players expecting to be told as news began to filter out among players last night.
Alexander-Arnold is vulnerable because FOUR right backs were named in the provisional list of 33 along with Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier who has just won La Liga with Atletico Madrid and Reece James who helped Chelsea win the Champions League.
Southgate is set to include Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson despite lingering doubts over their fitness while Marcus Rashford is confident of making it despite nursing a foot and shoulder problem.
Brighton’s Ben White, Everton defender Ben Godfrey and Sheffield United keeper Aaron Ramsdale all know they are likely to be cut having been called up with England missing 11 players because of the two European finals.
The rest of the contingent have joined up to prepare for Wednesday’s friendly with Austria in Middlesbrough and then the final warm-up with Romania on Sunday.
United forward Mason Greenwood, Arsenal’s versatile Bukayo Saka, Ollie Watkins and Jesse Lingard are anxiously waiting on news but, ultimately, Southgate’s decision may depend on the fitness and availability of others.
That means Southgate may keep an extra midfielder or defender depending on what level he thinks Maguire and Henderson are in terms of fitness for all of the Group matches.