Arsenal star White sits out England training ahead of Wales showdown due to illness

Date published: Monday 28th November 2022 1:51 - News Desk

England defender Ben White touches his chin

Arsenal defender Ben White missed England training through illness on the eve of the World Cup clash with Wales.

Gareth Southgate’s men will progress to the knockout phase if they avoid a four-goal defeat against their neighbours in the Group B finale.

England centre-back White has yet to play a minute in Qatar and looks set to miss the Wales game having sat out training on Monday at the Al Wakrah Sports Complex.

The remaining 25 members of the squad trained in 30-degree heat, including James Maddison as he pushes to be involved following a knee complaint.

England manager Southgate will be joined by vice-captain Jordan Henderson later at the press conference previewing Tuesday’s match at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.

Meanwhile, Jordan Pickford believes the rivalry between England and Wales is the kind that makes football “great” and warned not to underestimate Rob Page’s side.

Both have so far drawn with the United States but, while Gareth Southgate’s side beat Iran 6-2, Wales slipped to a disappointing 2-0 defeat.

There is likely to be more of an atmosphere inside Ahmed bin Ali Stadium than at the majority of World Cup matches so far and Pickford is looking forward to something akin to a derby day.

“That (special rivalry) it is, it’s football, it’s great,” the goalkeeper said.

“They’re another good side, they’ll be disappointed, they’ve got one point so they’ll be pushing towards Tuesday, but so are we.

“We’re in control of the group and we’ll go again, get ready, get prepared, 100 per cent and go again Tuesday.

“It’s tournament football. Getting a clean sheet in the second game after winning the first game is massive.

“We go into Tuesday against Wales, another tough game, but a game we should be in control of and hopefully get the win.”

The mood, externally at least, shifted for England after they were held to a goalless stalemate by the USA on Friday.

Having opened their campaign with a scintillating victory over Iran, there was anticipation that everyone England faced would be swept aside in the same manner.

Pickford believes the expectation levels may have risen too steeply after that eye-catching opener, insisting there are no easy games at a World Cup.

Asked if the squad had to stay grounded after the hype, the Everton player replied: “Yes, we know what a tough side the USA are, and Wales are obviously a very good side so it was a very good draw.

“You watch the games when you’re back at the camp. They (the USA) are no fools and played a very good game but we got a draw, we’re in control of the group and we keep pushing forward.

“It’s a World Cup, it doesn’t come around often and we keep pushing. Tuesday is another game of football against another tough opponent.

“Everyone’s here at the World Cup because they’ve achieved something to get here and there’s no easy turnovers in football matches.

“I know Wales are going to be a tough task but we’ve got to be ready for it and have our game plan to go and win the game.”

READ MORE: England meltdown: Phil Foden has made ‘just one substitute appearance’ at World Cup!

 

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