Jamie Vardy 'doubtful' for Sweden quarter-final, says England boss Gareth Southgate
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 06/07/18 8:39am
Gareth Southgate says Jamie Vardy is "looking doubtful" for England's World Cup quarter-final against Sweden on Saturday.
Vardy suffered a groin strain after coming on as a late substitute in the last-16 win over Colombia, and was unable to take England's fifth penalty in the shootout as previously planned.
Sky sources understand the Leicester striker was forced to have an injection on the injury after the match and Southgate says Vardy is unlikely to face Sweden after sitting out training.
"Vardy didn't train today, so is looking doubtful for this game," Southgate said on Thursday. "But we'll know a bit more tomorrow, really. The others were all on the pitch. We didn't do a lot.
"I think at this stage, minimal time on the pitch, a lot of our information is going to have to be in meetings.
"Because it really is as much about recovery, physical and psychological, as everything else. The downside of that is we can't push the players enough today to see whether they're OK.
"So we'll know more tomorrow. We'll have to make late decisions. I think every team will be in the same boat on that."
Southgate is more optimistic about the fitness of Dele Alli, who returned to the starting line-up against Colombia after missing the Group G games against Panama and Belgium with a thigh problem.
"Dele was absolutely fine after the game, didn't feel anything," Southgate added. "I think the extra couple of days were really helpful for him.
"Had he gone into the last one a bit earlier he might have come out of the game feeling something. He was fine."
Southgate also provided an update on the fitness of Ashley Young and Kyle Walker, who both appeared to suffer from cramp during the win in Moscow.
"Young and Walker, we've no reason to believe they're serious issues. They were back on their feet today," he said.
"But equally there might be a couple of others. I think when you've had a long game like that, you don't know until you've really started to extend in training again exactly what you might be carrying.
"But our feeling is, certainly nothing serious, but two or three in particular that we've probably got to assess quite closely tomorrow and see exactly what level they're at. Again, because we've got good players to come in.
"So if we've got players that are 75 per cent, then the guys who haven't been in the team deserve to come in and be at 100 per cent."