Raheem Sterling could be rested for England's friendly in Italy
Last Updated: 25/03/15 5:04pm
Roy Hodgson says he is likely to have to field a weakened team against Italy next week with Raheem Sterling among those likely to be rested.
Sterling has been playing with a toe injury in recent weeks and Hodgson is unlikely to risk him against the Italians in Turin, only a handful of days after England host Lithuania in a European Qualifier.
The 20-year-old would be making his 50th appearance of the season if he were to turn out on at Wembley on Friday, and Hodgson seems to be keen to avoid re-opening a row with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers by playing him in both games.
Rodgers was upset last October when Sterling complained of being too tired to train after England's 5-0 win over San Marino, in which he played 45 minutes, and he was then left on the bench against Estonia.
Sterling trained with the England squad as normal at St George's Park on Tuesday and he will be in contention for a starting place as England look to make it five Group E wins from five at Wembley.
Liverpool team-mates Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana have already withdrawn from Hodgson's squad and the manager expects they will not be the end of the upheaval.
He said: "I fear we're going to lose a few more.
"There's one or two that I know won't be able to join us against Italy because of the problems they are dealing with, so on this occasion it won't be as strong a team as I would have liked.
"The qualifier is still my top priority, even though on paper Italy are a stronger team to play than Lithuania."