England are under added pressure to top Group D after the ruling on Chelsea pair Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell threw a spanner in their Last 16 plans at Euro 2020.
England’s preparations ahead of their final group clash with the Czech Republic were thrown into chaos on Monday. News of Scotland international Billy Gilmour’s positive Covid-19 test delivered a hammer-blow to the Scottish camp. However, the disruption did not stop there.
However, a statement from the FA has now revealed the duo are set for an enforced stay on the sidelines up to and including next Monday.
If England qualify as group winners or as a high ranked third placed team, their Last 16 tie will be played on Tuesday, June 29.
That would open the door for Mount and Chilwel to return to the action. But if England finish runners-up, their first knockout match will be on Monday, June 28.
Therefore, the pressure has ramped up on England to sink the Czech Republic. In doing so, they would avoid having two players side-lined in their Last 16 encounter.
FA confirm Mount, Chilwell layoffs
The Football Association said in a statement: “We can confirm that Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount must isolate up to and including next Monday (June 28). This decision has been taken in consultation with Public Health England.
“The pair were confirmed overnight as close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour after his positive test following last Friday’s match.”
The statement continued: “Chilwell and Mount will isolate and train individually in private areas at England’s training base St. George’s Park, with the rest of the squad returning there after tonight’s fixture against Czech Republic at Wembley.
“We will continue to follow all Covid-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE.
“The entire England squad and staff had lateral flow tests on Monday and all were again negative, as was the case with Sunday’s UEFA pre-match PCR tests. Further tests will be carried out as and when appropriate.”