Euro 2020: England boss Gareth Southgate everything but rules Jordan Henderson from opener

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Gareth Southgate settles all but Jordan Henderson from England’s Euro 2020 opener against Croatia…with the Three Lions also devastated by his Liverpool teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury, which will see him miss the tournament

Gareth Southgate has admitted Jordan Henderson will miss England’s opening match against Croatia in nine days’ time.

That disturbing news was followed by another blow when fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold withdrew from the squad due to the thigh injury he sustained against Austria.

With Henderson struggling, manager Southgate has indicated that child prodigy Jude Bellingham is in the running to replace his vice-captain in next week’s Wembley showdown.

Friday 11 June

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Saturday June 12

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Switzerland

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Finland

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Sunday 13 June

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Gareth Southgate almost confirmed Jordan Henderson will miss Croatia's opening match

Gareth Southgate almost confirmed Jordan Henderson will miss Croatia's opening match

Gareth Southgate almost confirmed Jordan Henderson will miss Croatia’s opening match

Henderson would make his first appearance since February after undergoing groin surgery in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Austria. But after complaining about discomfort on the morning of the game, it was decided to give the Liverpool captain a rest.

A scan showed that he did not worsen the injury and he would train normally on Thursday.

Hopes remain that Henderson can play a part in Sunday’s final friendly before the tournament against Romania. But the midfielder’s chances of starting against Croatia seem slim, given his serious lack of competitive football.

The Liverpool star has undergone a race to get fully fit for the Euro 2020 opener on June 13

The Liverpool star has undergone a race to get fully fit for the Euro 2020 opener on June 13

The Liverpool star has undergone a race to get fully fit for the Euro 2020 opener on June 13

Henderson did not play against Austria on Wednesday and concerns about the star are increasing

Henderson did not play against Austria on Wednesday and concerns about the star are increasing

Henderson did not play against Austria on Wednesday and concerns about the star are increasing

Southgate admitted that Henderson’s hopes of playing in the opening game are fading and even cast doubt on his commitment for the rest of the tournament.

“I don’t think it would be fair to rule him out, but I think it’s clear to everyone how much football he has missed,” Southgate said.

“The timelines are getting harder with every workout he might miss. But I’m very realistic about what’s possible here. It’s a decision we’ve made (to select Henderson) because we’ve been able to hire additional players and we believe he has such a significant impact on the whole club. If we can get him close to his contribution on the pitch against Croatia, that’s a real bonus at the moment.”

With Southgate virtually taking Henderson out of the game in Croatia, it’s hard to see him in the grid for England’s second game against Scotland, which promises to be an intense battle.

Southgate has been dealt a huge blow to his plans after an injury to one of his defenders

Southgate has been dealt a huge blow to his plans after an injury to one of his defenders

Southgate has been dealt a huge blow to his plans after an injury to one of his defenders

Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss the European Championship after a thigh injury against Austria

Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss the European Championship after a thigh injury against Austria

Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss the European Championship after a thigh injury against Austria

Bellingham has pitted himself to play alongside Declan Rice in English midfield against Croatia if Henderson is unavailable to start.

The 17-year-old was outstanding in the win over the Austrians and when asked if Bellingham had done enough to convince him he could start at the European Championship, Southgate replied: ‘The best way to answer is that he not just here. for the experience. You’ve seen what he’s capable of, we’ve seen that for Borussia Dortmund, especially in the Champions League.

“The whole group respects him, he has a great humility in camp, but he competes in training like he’s been with them from day one, which is a great mentality to have.” Alexander-Arnold will be out for four to six weeks.

Henderson's fitness insecurity could pave the way for Jude Bellingham to start on June 13

Henderson's fitness insecurity could pave the way for Jude Bellingham to start on June 13

Henderson’s fitness insecurity could pave the way for Jude Bellingham to start on June 13

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