Adam Lallana is facing a World Cup fitness battle — as boss Gareth Southgate prepares to axe THREE other big stars from his Russia plans.
England chief Southgate — whose side host Italy tomorrow — is concerned over the fitness of Liverpool midfielder Lallana, who has played just 12 times this season.
And Southgate is set to ignore Arsenal’s injury-jinxed Jack Wilshere, Chelsea’s Gary Cahill and Manchester United centre-half Chris Smalling, as he looks towards naming his 23-man squad.
Lallana, 29, failed to train with the Three Lions last week and has yet to play for Southgate since the friendly against France nine months ago.
He suffered a thigh injury before the start of the season and struggled with groin problems in a frustrating campaign.
Southgate has repeatedly claimed he will NOT take half-fit players to the World Cup.
Wilshere’s withdrawal from the squad before Friday’s Holland friendly convinced Southgate he would also be a major risk.
And neither Cahill nor Smalling are currently being considered for the summer.
West Ham’s stopper Joe Hart is set to be named as the No 3 keeper with Burnley’s Nick Pope losing out.
The No 1 spot will be a race between Stoke’s Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford of Everton.
But Southgate has numerous injury issues for Tuesday’s friendly.
Defender Joe Gomez was sent back to Liverpool after suffering an ankle injury in Amsterdam.
His replacement Harry Maguire has also been nursing a hamstring strain.
- Man United set to replace Luke Shaw with another talented left-back Jose Mourinho will probably hate
- The goalkeepers’ union have started their traditional slamming of the World Cup ball
- “Ban the idiots and England would have the best away fans in the world”