London (AFP) – England manager Roy Hodgson revealed Thursday that Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph is set to miss Euro 2016 after suffering a groin injury.
Delph did not travel with the squad to Sunderland as England prepare for Friday’s friendly with Australia at the Stadium of Light.
And Hodgson believes the 26-year-old, who has nine England caps, is unlikely to be fit to play any part in France, which means he won’t be included when the final 23-man squad is named by the May 31 deadline.
“It means he (Delph) probably won’t be with us in the final 23, unless of course we have injuries,” Hodgson told reporters.
“I have put him on the standby list, which he understands and accepts. I don’t think it is going to be a long-term injury for him, so if I need him and want him to come along with us it is easy for me to call him and ask him to do so.
“I have said to him, with the situation we have with the other 25 players, it is unlikely.”
With Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge also struggling with a calf strain, Hodgson revealed Manchester United sensation Marcus Rashford is set to make his England debut.
It is only three months since the 18-year-old striker made his senior club bow, but he will probably lead the line in the second of England’s three warm-up fixtures, with Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane rested.
Rashford has netted eight times in 18 appearances in all competitions for United and Hodgson has no doubts he can cope with the pressure of trying to win a Euro 2016 place.
– Detective work –
“Daniel has a calf strain, he’s had that since he joined up with us. We’d been hoping it would get better, we will see tomorrow (Friday),” Hodgson said.
“If Sturridge isn’t fit tomorrow then I think you’ll all work out he (Rashford) is going to start the game.
“I’m happy with that, I’m more than content he can handle the situation.
“It doesn’t take a lot of detective work to work that out, with me wanting to rest Vardy and Kane. There was no doubt that my original intention was to choose between Sturridge, Rashford and possibly one other.”
Sturridge has had another injury-hit season at Anfield and has barely played for England since 2014, but Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has backed his Reds team-mate to prove his fitness.
“He’ll be disappointed, obviously he’ll want to be playing some part in the next couple of games before the tournament but he’s got to make sure he’s doing everything he can to get fit,” England international Henderson said.
“Hopefully he can be involved in the game tomorrow and, if not, the next one (against Portugal on June 2).”
With three of England’s 26-man provisional squad set to miss out on a seat on the flight to France, Hodgson is keeping his options open until the last minute as he weighs up who to axe.
“As far as the 23 is concerned it’s simple, I will leave it as long as possible. A lot of things can happen in football,” Hodgson added.
“There’s no reason for me whatsoever to talk about who may or may not go. I have until midnight on Tuesday, until that time I’ll keep my powder dry.”
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