Monday, June 24, 2024

England get huge fitness boost as all 26 players train ahead of Euro 2024 opener

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Gareth Southgate had a number of injury concerns following England’s 1-0 defeat to Iceland last Friday but after landing in Germany, the Three Lions are looking much healthier

Luke Shaw is now in full training(ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

John Stones, Luke Shaw and Bukayo Saka all took part in full training with England on Tuesday, giving Gareth Southgate a significant boost ahead of Euro 2024.

Southgate’s entire 26-man squad were put through their paces as the Three Lions trained in Germany for the first time in preparation for their Group C opener against Serbia on Sunday. England trained at Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld, a stadium roughly half an hour from their base hotel in Blankenhain.

The biggest talking point was Shaw’s participation, with the Manchester United left-back having not played since February. Southgate admits that England are taking a ‘calculated risk’ on Shaw, who was seen working hard in a bid to be available for selection.

Also involved were Stones and Saka, both of whom picked up injuries during last Friday’s surprise 1-0 defeat to Iceland at Wembley. It emerged on Monday that the Three Lions were sweating on the Arsenal star Saka’s fitness, although he’s now expected to be fit to face Serbia.

The same goes for Manchester City defender Stones, who was forced off at half-time against Iceland after suffering an ankle injury. Stones, who turned 30 last month, is one of Southgate’s most trusted players his presence at centre-back became even more important after Harry Maguire was ruled out of the tournament through injury.

Southgate and his players looked in good spirits while training, with captain Harry Kane and star Jude Bellingham chief among them. Also involved for the first time this summer was experienced goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who’s been called up by Southgate exclusively to take part in training sessions as a fourth shot-stopper and 27th man overall.

Your turn! How should England line up against Serbia? Give us your starting XI in the comments section

Bukayo Saka should be available to face Serbia(Richard Pelham/Getty Images)
John Stones went off injured against Iceland(Richard Pelham/Getty Images)

At club level, 38-year-old Heaton has spent the past three seasons at Man United and remains in negotiations over a new contract. On the decision, Southgate explained: “I am really pleased Tom has agreed to join us in Germany.

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