Sturridge and Barkley sweat over England place

Date published: Tuesday 31st May 2016 8:07

Daniel Sturridge and Ross Barkley face a nervous wait to learn whether they have made Roy Hodgson’s 23-man England squad for Euro 2016.

Fitness concerns led the Three Lions boss to name an enlarged 26-strong provisional party two weeks ago, with the squad now needing to be whittled down by three.

Fabian Delph has already dropped out due to a groin complaint and Hodgson has until midnight on Tuesday to finalise his 23-man squad for France, with the decision on the pair missing out to come after training at Watford’s London Colney base.

The England manager had planned to announce his decision over the weekend in the wake of Friday’s friendly against Australia, but a change in tack will instead see him wait for the day of the deadline.

Sturridge’s absence in the 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light looks to have played a key role in the decision to hold fire, with the oft-injured Liverpool striker sustaining a calf strain during the Europa League final loss to Sevilla.

Questions over the 26-year-old’s place in the squad were compounded by 18-year-old Marcus Rashford’s goalscoring debut, but Sturridge worked over the weekend and trained with the group on Monday.

The former Chelsea striker will hope he has done enough to prove any fitness doubts wrong but Hodgson looks set to make him, and the rest of the squad, sweat.

Asked if Sturridge has got to be fit for when the squad is named on Tuesday or instead for England’s Euro 2016 opener against Russia on June 11, Hodgson said: “He has been fit for a while now.

“This is an injury he picked up during the Europa League final. He has actually been fit and playing for Liverpool for quite a long period of time – more so than say a guy like Jordan Henderson.

“This is just one of those things that is unfortunate, to pick up this injury at a time when he’d have loved to be training. But I can’t allow that to affect my judgement of him or my thoughts going forwards.

“For me to dismiss him on the grounds of injury, that would need one of the doctors to tell me it won’t clear up in time for when we’re in France.”

Sturridge was among 24 players training on the eve of the squad announcement, with Ryan Bertrand the only fresh absentee as the Southampton left-back received treatment on an unspecified knock.

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill trained having missed Friday’s match following another injection in his hip, while Manchester City midfielder Delph dropped to the standby list before the Australia match due to a groin injury.

It means two players from the enlarged list have to be omitted, with Rashford hoping to celebrate his new Manchester United deal with a place in the 23.

Danny Drinkwater and Andros Townsend are others whose position looks precarious, while reports suggest the coaching staff have concerns about Ross Barkley’s match fitness.

Hodgson was keen to see how Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson fared on their return from injury, with the midfielders playing a part in both the Turkey and Australia friendlies.

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