Middlesbrough, United Kingdom, June 2, 2021 (AFP) – England started their preparations for the European Cup (which will take place from June 11 to July 11) well with a 1-0 victory over Austria on Wednesday in a friendly match in Middlesbrough.
After clearly controlling the first half hour of play, albeit without scoring, Gareth Southgate’s men had to wait about an hour to score on a counterattack through Bukayo Saka (1-0, in the 57th minute).
With Harry Maguire injuring his ankle, and Jordan Henderson still in disrepair, the England coach has chosen a team that will certainly not be selected to start the European Championship, on June 13 at Wembley, against World Cup runners-up Croatia. .
The squad of Jesse Lingard, who was not among the 26 players in the European Cup, but was called up to play with the national team in previous friendlies, is proof of this.
Southgate also saved the Chelsea and Manchester City players who played in the Champions League final on Saturday.
It was Saka (19) who swung into the net and Harry Kane took the risk, mainly in a one-on-one confrontation with the goalkeeper, but he didn’t take the chance in the first half.
Austria’s best chance came via Marcel Sabitzer who sent the ball across the crossbar in the 64th minute. Michael Gregorich, by cable, also nearly tied up.
– Alexander-Arnold injury hurt and worried – The bad news for the English is that Trent Alexander-Arnold could miss Euro 2020 after sustaining a thigh injury on Wednesday.
The Liverpool right-back faltered at the end of the second half after being injured while pushing the ball wide.
The 22-year-old looked shaky as he got help at Riverside Stadium.
Southgate has admitted he is concerned about Alexander-Arnold’s chances of losing the championship as he awaits tests in the next 24 hours.
“We’ll check it out,” Southgate said. “It’s obviously not a good sign to see it as it turns out.”
“We’ll have to evaluate it. I think it’s the thigh, but the medical team is evaluating it. We’ll know more in 24 to 48 hours.”
In Group D of the European Cup, England will face Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic, while Austria will be in Group C along with the Netherlands, Ukraine and North Macedonia.
hap / smr / dr / aam