Gareth Southgate is set to delay naming his finalised 26-man England squad for this summer’s European Championship with a provisional group to be revealed today.
England’s plans are complicated by the involvement of three Premier League clubs in the final of UEFA’s European competitions, with Manchester United facing Villarreal in the Europa League this evening and Chelsea meeting Manchester City in an all-English Champions League final in Porto on May 29.
Southgate is also keen to assess the fitness of several players before making a final decision, with the Guardian reporting that the Three Lions’ manager could name more than 30 players in his initial squad, before trimming that number to the stipulated 26 on June 1.
Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish, Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson are amongst the players seeking to prove their fitness ahead of the tournament, whilst Trent Alexander-Arnold will hope to be involved and push for a place after being a surprise omission from March’s World Cup qualifiers.
Nick Pope is also a major doubt with the Burnley goalkeeper set to undergo knee surgery just three weeks before England’s first group game against Croatia, with Sam Johnstone expected to be named in the squad should the 29-year-old fail to recover from the ‘minor operation’.
England face Austria and Romania in warm-up matches on June 2 and June 6 respectively, though face the prospect of playing those fixtures without players from the European finalsits as Southgate looks to give his players a week’s rest following their European commitments.
Names who could feature as they look to force their way into the final squad include forwards Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings, Jesse Lingard, Bukayo Saka and Everton defensive duo Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey.