James Maddison is set to miss England’s opening encounter against Iran in the World Cup on Monday through injury.
The 25-year-old missed a second consecutive day of training at England’s base training camp in Doha completing a solo session indoors.
The Leicester City midfielder has been struggling since picking up a knee injury last weekend during his side’s 2-0 away win over West Ham United in the Premier League.
Maddison was the only player who missed training on both Thursday and Friday and his participation in the first round looks highly unlikely.
Maddison may feature later in tournament
England’s medical staff though, are confident that they can get him fit for the following crucial group games against USA and Wales. The silky midfielder has represented his country only once in his career and was a surprise inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for the World Cup.
Even though Maddison was not expected to start for his country, he would be a more than useful option coming on from the bench.
The attacking midfielder has been in fine form for Leicester, the focal point of resurgence for the Foxes in recent weeks after a disastrous start in the Premier League campaign.
His eye for goal and inch perfect passes would be ideal for Southgate’s side should they find it hard to unlock defense against teams that will sit back and play on the counter.
Conor Gallacher gets chance for three lions
The absence of Maddison certainly means that Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher will feature in some role for the Three Lions.
Gallagher’s inclusion, like Maddison, over Southampton’s James Ward Prowse, raised eyebrows but Southgate defended his selection saying the 22-year-old gives England “something different”.
The Chelsea youngster brings in energy in midfield with his overall energetic game and his lung bursting runs from the middle of the park could make the difference in Qatar’s sweltering heat.
His energy to win the ball back in midfield earlier drew praise from former Chelsea manager comparing the English midfielder to N’Golo Kante.
Gallagher has featured regularly this season for the Blues following his impressive loan stint with Crystal Palace last term, where he was awarded the Player of the Season.
The youngster scored eight goals across 34 appearances for Patrick Viera’s side helping them finish 12th in the Premier League.
Photo Credit: IMAGO / PA Images
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