England’s preparations for their second group game at the 2022 World Cup continue to be disrupted by injury.
The Three Lions saw captain Harry Kane roll his ankle in their opening game against Iran, although he resumed training on the grass on Wednesday and Gareth Southgate is confident he will be fit to play against the United States.
However, one player who continues to miss out on training is playmaker James Maddison, and he was again absent from Thursday’s session as England look to build on their impressive 6-2 win on matchday one.
The 26-year-old, who celebrated his birthday on Wednesday, has been struggling with a knee injury picked up in Leicester’s 2-0 win over West Ham in the Premier League – a game that took place days before Southgate named his 26-player party for the tournament in Qatar.
He hasn’t trained properly since England arrived at their training base, and was again working indoors as the other 25 players were put through their paces by Southgate and his coaching team.
Maddison was unlikely to be considered for starting duties against the United States anyway, but his continued absence could simplify Southgate’s selection when he finalises his tactics for the game.
Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice and Mason Mount started in a midfield three for England against Iran, and there’s every chance the trio will be sent out again against the United States. Phil Foden and Jack Grealish made their cases for inclusion after impressing off the bench against Iran, but the nature of the Three Lions’ dominance may see Southgate opt for consistency.
Kyle Walker is edging closer to full fitness for England, though he may find it difficult to dislodge the in-form Kieran Trippier at right-back – should Southgate decide to continue playing a back four.