Football News Update: Preparations for Euro 2024 Hit Snag as England’s Stones Falls Ill

Gareth Southgate’s England squad is facing defensive concerns ahead of their opening Euro 2024 match against Serbia on Sunday. Illness has prevented key defender John Stones from participating in the team’s first training session dedicated to the backline on Wednesday.

Stones, believed to have a sickness bug, was kept in his room to prevent the illness from spreading among his England teammates. This is the latest challenge for Southgate, who has already had to leave Harry Maguire at home due to a calf injury.

“We wouldn’t be here if the manager didn’t think we could play for England,” stated Lewis Dunk, who is making his tournament debut.

The absence of Maguire and the ongoing recovery of Luke Shaw from a hamstring tear have created issues in the England defense. Stones, the squad’s most experienced center-back, is set to play against Serbia if he regains full fitness, likely partnering with Marc Guéhi.

However, the manager would have preferred Stones to be present in training as the team prepares to shut down Serbia’s attack, led by striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. Brighton’s Dunk, who has 17 caps for England, will be in contention to start alongside Guéhi if Stones is not available.

This issue is the latest in a series of challenges Southgate has faced in building his backline for Euro 2024. The manager will be hoping Stones recovers in time to feature against Serbia as England looks to get their tournament campaign off to a strong start.

🔗 Source