Gareth Southgate’s preparations for the delayed Euro 2020 finals have been thrown into turmoil by the involvement of English clubs in the Champions League and Europa League finals.
The England manager will name his 26-man squad for the tournament on 25 May – he wants to get them together on the weekend of 29-30 May – and they face warmup matches at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium against Austria and Romania on 2 June and 6 June. England kick off the finals against Croatia at Wembley on 13 June.
But Southgate is likely to be without 11 players for the Austria game and a good deal of them for Romania because of his desire to grant members of his squad a week-long break after the end of their club seasons.
The Europa League final featuring Manchester United takes place on 26 May and the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea is scheduled for 29 May. It means the England players at United – Dean Henderson, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford – will miss the visit of Austria, and the City and Chelsea contingent will miss that match and also be highly doubtful for the Romania match.
Southgate has Kyle Walker, John Stones, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling at City and Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount at Chelsea. He will bulk up his squad for the warmup matches with standby players and England Under-21 players and, as importantly, they will be needed to make up the numbers in training. There is the possibility one or more of them could force their way into the squad for the finals if there are any last-minute injuries.