England could seal qualification for next year’s World Cup in Qatar with a couple of positive results this week but advancement is far from guaranteed. In the first of two games, they will face Albania on Friday evening at Wembley.
Gareth Southgate, who led the Three Lions to their first European Championship final over the summer, has offered an update on Manchester United defender Luke Shaw ahead of the game.
Shaw was substituted in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City last week with a head injury and he joined the England camp later than his team-mates as a result. The 26-year-old has been ruled out of tonight’s game against Albania but he is also in danger of missing the clash with San Marino.
“I’ve got to check in with our medical staff for today’s updates, the longer it goes the less likely that is [that he’ll be involved],” Southgate told reporters, according to the Manchester Evening News.
“Luke has got very strict guidelines on concussion markers, the first day he didn’t pass the markers so that gets shifted back. We’ve got to follow the guidelines on that, we might run out of time, we’ll just see.”
Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell could start for England in Shaw’s absence and the former Leicester star has spoken out on his rivalry with United’s left-back on the pitch.
“I’m good friends with Luke (Shaw). When you’ve got someone in the same position as you, it doesn’t have to be ‘ah, your enemies’. You’re fighting for the same shirt but you can be friends,” he told The Times.
SN’s verdict on Shaw’s injury and United’s increasing injury list…
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping that Shaw’s potential inclusion in England’s squad for the game against San Marino is a positive sign but he won’t be counting his chickens just yet.
The last international break of the calendar year has been a disaster for Manchester United so far. Despite featuring against Atalanta just four days before Uruguay’s squad was announced, Edinson Cavani was forced to sit out due to injury. Marcus Rashford then pulled out of England’s squad and Paul Pogba did the same after sustaining an injury in training.
Scott McTominay has been ruled out of Scotland’s game against Moldova due to a throat virus and Shaw could now become the latest United star to miss out on action this week.