Gareth Southgate plans plans for England’s Nations League comeback in Iceland in September as focus moves to delayed Euro 2020
- The English team are ready for their first games after the lockdown in September
- Gareth Southgate’s side faces Iceland first, a match that could see crowds returning
- Phil Foden from Manchester City and Mason Greenwood from Man United in discussion
England is ramping up plans to return to international football in September as Gareth Southgate prepares for the delayed European Championship.
Manchester City academy outlook Phil Foden leads a group of youth looking to break into the senior squad for the Nations League group games against Iceland and Denmark in early September, the first time Southgate will see its players since November.
The clash with Iceland in Reykjavik is expected to be England’s first game for a crowd since the coronavirus pandemic started. Iceland has had fewer than 2,000 confirmed cases, with a death toll of just 10. Only three new cases were registered on Monday.
Gareth Southgate prepares for England’s return against Iceland in September
Phil Foden is one of the young stars who insist on selection for the match against Iceland
There is a growing belief that local fans should be allowed to attend the match, but whether England fans will gain entry remains to be seen.
UEFA confirmed last month that the international games would return in September, news received with anger by Premier League bosses over serious concerns that the games will clash with their plans for next season.
The new season is likely to begin on September 12, meaning clubs will miss their stars for a critical part of the pre-season training.
Mason Greenwood of Manchester United is another attacking young star in dispute
There is precedent for games in England to be played just before the start of the season – a 3-2 win over Scotland at Wembley in August 2013 was played just three days before the Premier League campaign started.
There is already concern that players may withdraw from the England squad due to the short turnaround between this season and the next.
Clubs will set specific training schedules to follow their stars while on international service to reduce the risk of problems prior to the new season.
Southgate will begin major preparations for the EURO 2021 tournament next year
The relationship between clubs and the FA has improved greatly in recent years, with open dialogue between both medical departments a daily occurrence during international weeks.
Meanwhile, Manchester United starlet Mason Greenwood is on Southgate’s radar after an excellent rookie season in which he has scored 15 goals.
The England staff will be careful with the 18-year-old striker when considering his squad for their upcoming games, but if his brilliant form remains in its current form, his squad will arrive before the end of the year.