Roy Hodgson is set to name his final England squad for the European Championship on Tuesday, with five players apparently fearing for their places.
Hodgson has until 11pm to submit the names of the 23 players he will take to France, with two more players needing to be cut after Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph dropped to the standby list.
According to the newspapers, Daniel Sturridge, Ross Barkley, Andros Townsend, Danny Drinkwater and Jordan Henderson are the players in danger of being axed…
Daniel Sturridge is still sweating over his place in England’s Euro 2016 squad as Roy Hodgson prepares to deliver the bad news to the two players who will not travel to France.
Opinion is understood to have been divided on Sturridge and Andros Townsend, whose seat on the plane is also under threat.
Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater is also at risk of the cut.
It seems likely Danny Drinkwater will be one of those omitted, but there has been fierce debate within the England coaching staff over who else will be left out and it is unlikely the final decision will have been unanimous.
Marcus Rashford’s eye-catching debut against Australia last Friday potentially offers Roy Hodgson the chance to stick to his original plan to take five strikers in his party, though whether the 18-year-old would offer effective cover out wide is open to debate. Ross Barkley has moved to demonstrate his fitness by taking on extra training over recent days given he has played only 27 minutes of football since the Premier League’s final matches.
Andros Townsend, who was called up to replace the injured Danny Welbeck, has his backers among the coaching staff, with Gary Neville having championed the Newcastle United winger’s cause, pointing to the variety he offers as a natural wide player.
The Times: Andros Townsend and Danny Drinkwater fear they will be left out when Roy Hodgson confirms his 23-man squad. The emergence of Marcus Rashford and Daniel Sturridge’s return to training has left the pair feeling vulnerable.
Townsend in particular is believed to have strong supporters among the England manager’s backroom team, with several coaches arguing his pace would bring a threat England otherwise lack and, despite Townsend’s fears, that backing could give him the nod ahead of Barkley.
Barkley lost form towards the end of the season for Everton and has reported for international duty appearing to be carrying extra bulk.
Daniel Sturridge left his England colleagues convinced he is ready to go to the European Championship after taking a full part in training yesterday. It is looking increasingly likely that Hodgson will include both Sturridge and Marcus Rashford in his squad.
It leaves Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater as the players most in danger of missing out, with Andros Townsend also in danger of missing out.
Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater fears he will miss out while Daniel Sturridge, Andros Townsend and Ross Barkley are vulnerable with a growing belief that Marcus Rashford will make the 23.
The England coaching staff are concerned that if Sturridge goes and is not playing he may not be happy in the squad, having been the main man at the last World Cup.
Some of the coaching staff, including assistant manager Ray Lewington, have concerns over Daniel Sturridge’s attitude and mentality in France if he is not fully fit.
Danny Drinkwater looks set for heartbreak and Roy Hodgson will then axe either Ross Barkley, Sturridge or Andros Townsend.
There is a concern within Roy Hodgson’s camp about how Daniel Sturridge will react if he does not feature in France. Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley and Jordan Henderson are also fearing for their places.
John Stones in line for start?
Both the Daily Telegraph and Guardian, meanwhile, say John Stones could start ahead of Gary Cahill in England’s Euro 2016 opener against Russia.
It says in the Telegraph: ‘Fitness permitting, Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill are expected to start England’s final warm-up match against Portugal at Wembley on Thursday night, but Stones may well come back in for the first tournament game against Russia on June 11.
‘Stones received criticism this season for losing possession in dangerous areas while carrying out the instruction of his former Everton manager Roberto Martinez to always look for his closest midfielder.
‘Hodgson, however, does not share the Martinez philosophy of ordering his defenders to always play out from the back and was keen to see Stones clear his lines if the situation required it.
‘Stones has done just that to prove to Hodgson and Neville that it will not be a gamble to put him in against Russia, when the team is picked for England’s first Euro 2016 game.’