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England vs Bosnia: Eberechi Eze set to make first Three Lions start in St James' friendly

England face Bosnia on Monday in Euro 2024 warm-up; Crystal Palace's Eberechi Eze is set to make his first start for his country; Gareth Southgate will be without Bukayo Saka, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Anthony Gordon; Kieran Trippier will captain side in Harry Kane's absence

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Gareth Southgate confirmed that Bukayo Saka, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Anthony Gordon will all miss the friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina at St James' Park on Monday

Eberechi Eze is expected to make his first start for England in their friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday night as the Crystal Palace forward is given the chance to impress before Gareth Southgate names his final squad of 26 for the Euros in just five days' time.

Eze's Palace team-mate, Marc Guehi, is also set to start in the heart of defence in the absence of first-choice centre-backs Harry Maguire and John Stones.

Eberechi Eze earned his second international cap in last month's friendly win over Scotland at Hampden Park.
Image: On form, Eberechi Eze is currently one of England's most in-form forwards

Eze is battling with a host of other top-class wide attacking players in this provisional squad, including Jack Grealish, Cole Palmer, Jarrod Bowen and James Maddison, although it isn't yet clear whether the forward might be used in a more central role against Bosnia at St James's Park.

Phil Foden hasn't yet joined up with the squad, while both Bukayo Saka and Anthony Gordon will miss tonight's game as they continue their recovery from injury.

Gareth Southgate (left) has revealed John Stones (right) won't feature for England on Monday.
Image: Gareth Southgate (left) has revealed John Stones (right) won't feature for England on Monday

However, it is a big opportunity for Eze, who proved to be the in-form winger at the back end of the Premier League season contributing five goals and two assists in his final six games for Palace, while also having more top-flight goal involvements last season than Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish combined.

Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka and John Stones are set to miss the Bosnia friendly, with Kieran Trippier to captain the Three Lions.

Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Anthony Gordon will also be absent for the first Euro 2024 warm-up game leaving Southgate with a selection headache.

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Stones and Saka trained as part of a 26-player training session on Sunday, but will miss the friendly at St James' Park.

England's 33-player provisional squad in full

  • Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), James Trafford (Burnley)
  • Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Jarell Quansah (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
  • Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace)
  • Forwards: Jude Bellingham, (Real Madrid), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)

"John has reported a bit later so hasn't worked with us, he will follow an individual programme," said Southgate at a press conference on Sunday.

"Bukayo is fine, he will be rested tomorrow and should be available by Friday."

John Stones (left) and Kieran Trippier in England training on Sunday.
Image: John Stones (left) and Kieran Trippier in England training on Sunday

Harry Kane will not start against Bosnia although has trained all week after missing Bayern Munich's final three fixtures due to a back injury, with Trippier set to captain the side.

Maguire and Shaw are more serious concerns ahead of the Euros in Germany. The former missed the last five weeks of the season while Shaw was described as a "long shot" by Southgate last month.

Gordon, meanwhile, missed Newcastle's final game of the season with an ankle problem and is yet to return.

"All are progressing well," Southgate said on the trio. "We are pleased with the progress they've made, none of them will be involved tomorrow.

"Gordon has a chance to be available for Friday. The other two are more unlikely, let's see how far they can go."

'Results always matter'

Harry Kane (left) and John Stones in England training on Sunday.
Image: Harry Kane (left) and John Stones in England training on Sunday

Kobbie Mainoo, Kyle Walker and Phil Foden have yet to link up with the camp after last weekend's FA Cup final, while Jude Bellingham will be another later arrival into camp.

England face Iceland on Friday in their final warm-up match before heading to Germany and playing Serbia on June 16 in their first group match.

But first, Southgate wants his patched-up side to deliver a strong performance and result against Bosnia.

"There's reality on the constraints," he said on England's preparations. "Four or five are not with us yet. But that's normal. In Qatar, we didn't have anyone until five days before the first game.

"There's a big physical aspect to what we're looking at. We are looking to see some combinations and people in different positions. People with fewer caps playing in a brilliant atmosphere will be important. I've liked how they have trained. A brilliant mentality as well.

"Results always matter. For me, it's about playing well and building what we've been doing over the next five or six weeks. There are 43 days until the final, not every day will be great, not every hour will be perfect. But we're working on principles and tomorrow is the first aspect to show that in public."

Southgate: Bellingham has had phenomenal year

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Southgate spoke of his delight at seeing Jude Bellingham win the Champions League with Real Madrid to cap what he describes as a 'phenomenal year'

Gareth Southgate on Jude Bellingham's first season at Real Madrid:

"It's an incredible year for him. Delighted for him to win [the Champions League] last night. Jadon [Sancho] was playing on the other side, same with Jamie [Bynoe-Gittens]. We didn't have favourites as such as we had players on both sides but to cap that season with winning the Champions League, it's a phenomenal year and I'm delighted for him.

"His family have to take credit for that - the way he is authentic in interviews, that's how he is. The way he reacts with staff and players, he has the humility and understanding. He had to earn the respect of people like [Luka] Modric and [Toni] Kroos, he went on to attack that challenge.

"The most important thing for him is rest, recovery. We don't have the players you do at a club to be so cohesive. At this moment, for Jude and for the team, it's to recover and psychologically switch off."

Trippier: I will always be there for England

Kieran Trippier

Newcastle right-back Trippier spoke of his pride about being handed the armband for his 47th cap.

"It's going to be very special," he said. "I have to thank Gareth for giving me that trust. But if I have the armband or not, or if I play or not, I will always be there for the team.

"To lead the lads out will be special. My son will be mascot as well.

"In the last Euros, I wasn't expecting to play LB. So you have to be ready.

"We can win it. We're not saying it in an arrogant way. We have top players, top manager and staff. But we have to earn the right and the most important thing is togetherness in the squad.

"We're all looking forward to it and the first step is tomorrow."

Shaw, Maguire, Gordon, Kane injury updates

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Rob Dorsett explains England's injury issues as five players are set to miss the game against Bosnia in Newcastle

Sky Sports News' Rob Dorsett at England's training camp in Darlington:

"Luke Shaw is the biggest concern, he hasn't played any football since February. Southgate is desperate to take him but unless he can get some game time in training and the friendlies this week, he will be a long shot for the final squad.

"My understanding is he has trained to a certain degree this week. England have been training since Tuesday but he will not be involved tomorrow.

"Harry Maguire is expected to be on the plane but he missed the last five weeks of the season, including the FA Cup final, due to an unknown muscle injury.

"He has only had nine Premier League starts since Christmas, so fitness is a concern for him and Southgate would like to give him some action in these friendlies to try and get him match fit for when the group starts in two weeks today.

"Anthony Gordon has a genuine injury problem that is quite new. He missed the final game of Newcastle's season due to an ankle problem and it's not a minor one because he's still not training on the grass with England. He is on his own personal training plan.

"For England to win this tournament, Harry Kane has to be bang on form and scoring the goals. And there were real concerns when he missed those final three games for Bayern Munich, but he looks comfortable.

"He came off in the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid with that problem, which he has had all his career in truth, but the fact he is training in the sunshine in Darlington is a good sign for him."

The key dates for England

All times BST

Monday June 3 - International friendly, England vs Bosnia and Herzegovina at St James' Park, kick-off 7.45pm

Friday June 7 - international friendly, England vs Iceland at Wembley, kick-off 7.45pm

Friday June 7 - Final 26-player squad submitted to UEFA

Saturday June 8 - Final 26-player squad announced

Monday June 10 - England squad fly to Germany

Sunday June 16 - Serbia vs England, Gelsenkirchen, kick-off 8pm

Thursday June 20 - Denmark vs England, Frankfurt, kick-off 5pm

Tuesday June 25 - England vs Slovenia, kick-off 8pm

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