FIFA is right around, but it seems that setbacks have already come to the surface for England.
Players have been plagued by a wave of injuries throughout leagues before the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Some of these injuries have crushed hopes of attending the Qatar event in mid-November, even if there is no defined timeframe for some of them, and players and teams are unaware of the length of recuperation.
A right-back scenario is developing for England ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. The three lions, who are the tournament favorites this time around, have stumbled onto a set of players who may very well be able to last the distance. But the majority of their offensive production comes from the wings, particularly from the right-back position.
What has happened during the mid-season tournaments?
You’d be excused if you believed Gareth Southgate’s biggest issue going into the September international window was that he had an excessive amount of depth at right back. Due to his poor performance with Liverpool and left back Trent Alexander-Arnold was excluded from the Nations League team. Ben Chilwell didn’t play for a single minute as he recovered from his ACL injury suffered for Chelsea last season, with right-back Kieran Trippier being moved to the left.
In little more than a month, the Three Lions’ situation has transformed. Due to their individual injuries, Reece James and Kyle Walker will probably miss the World Cup, and the consequences have now led to problems.
Where does England stand with the number of player injuries they have had?
England enters a third straight major tournament under the same manager for the first time since Italia ’90. As a result, we can fairly forecast how Gareth Southgate’s team for the 2022 World Cup will come together because we know what to expect from him.
However, because FIFA increased the maximum team size for the competition from 23 to 26, there are a few more openings than normal. With reasonable expectations of getting a spot on the flight to Qatar, about a dozen players are already waiting in the airport’s metaphorical departure lounge.
Is Kyle Walker in a state to play in Qatar?
The groin injury Kyle Walker, 32, suffered during Manchester City’s 6-3 victory in the Manchester derby required surgery earlier this month. After Kalvin Phillips, a City midfielder, underwent surgery as well to address a persistent shoulder issue, Walker joined Phillips on the recovery table.
Kyle Walker, though, was left to worry whether the potential of what may be a final major event had vanished following surgery because of how close the date of the procedure was to the beginning of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
What does Reece James’ injury mean for England?
Reece James will be wearing a knee brace for four weeks, according to Graham Potter, which further diminishes his chances of playing in the World Cup. The 22-year-old’s knee injury against AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday will keep him out for eight weeks, according to a statement from Chelsea on Friday.
James still hopes to make the England team for Qatar, but his prospects now appear slim in light of Potter’s remarks made after Sunday’s 2-0 away victory at Aston Villa.
The strain on central defense will be greatest because Walker has consistently been Southgate’s first choice there. James will no longer be a possibility, and Stones hasn’t played for Manchester City since the team’s match against Wolves on September 17. Stones’ comeback date has not been announced by Pep Guardiola, leaving Southgate with only the minimum essentials at center-back.