English success in Europe a headache for Southgate

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 15, 2019
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Head coach Gareth Southgate of England celebrates victory after the 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16 match between England and Colombia in Moscow, Russia, July 3, 2018. England won 5-4 (4-3 in penalty shootout) and advanced to the quarter-final. (Xinhua/He Canling)

The success of English clubs in European competition this season points to the current strength of the Premier League, but may cause a headache for England coach Gareth Southgate as he prepares to lead the national team into the final four of the UEFA Nations League.

England are due to play the Netherlands in Guimaraes, Portugal on June 6 in their Nations League semifinal, just four days after Liverpool and Tottenham go head-to-head in the Champions League final in Madrid.

Liverpool and Tottenham could contribute as many as nine players to Southgate's squad, with Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Harry Winks, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez all having been selected by Southgate in the last 12 months.

The England coach has to decide whether he is willing to risk selecting those players, who in theory could play 120 minutes of football in Madrid, or look elsewhere, knowing that he would have at most three training sessions to work with his full squad.

The Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal on May 29 is less of a problem, given that Arsenal are unlikely to supply any players to the England squad, and following Callum Hudson-Odoi's tendon injury, the only Chelsea players likely to be called up are Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. 

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