Gareth Southgate fears Champions League could hinder England's Nations League preparations
Last Updated: 14/03/19 11:09am
Gareth Southgate fears England's Nations League finals preparations could become a "mess" as UEFA has scheduled the Champions League final just days before the tournament gets under way.
After thrilling the nation during last year's memorable run to the World Cup semi-finals, the Three Lions will get another crack at silverware this summer after impressively overcoming Spain and Croatia in the group stage of the Nations League.
However, England's chances of winning the inaugural competition could be hampered by the success of Premier League sides in European competition.
Liverpool overcame Bayern Munich on Wednesday to join Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, increasing the likelihood of English representation in the June 1 showpiece.
The Madrid final is just five days before England take on Holland in Portugal, and Southgate is naturally concerned about the potential knock-on effect.
Southgate said: "It will be a little bit like the World Cup in that players will finish at different times, so we'll have to have some preparation here, in terms of the pre-camps. And it could be a mess.
"Let's say if two of our teams made it to the Champions League final, then we wouldn't see them, at best, until the Monday before we play on the Thursday.
"We've been in a semi-final, qualified six months ago and what a great opportunity to win something, and then you don't actually get the team together.
"And with the emotion of that game (Champions League final), can those players even realistically play on the Thursday night for us?
"We'll have to work all of that out as that goes on. But, fundamentally, our preparation will be here, broken up with breaks at home to give them space that they would all need, bar the players that will play to the very end.
"They would all need a period where they would need to psychologically switch off, and we'd have to look at Champions League final players when we got to it.".
The Premier League campaign ends on May 12 and the FA Cup final takes place the following weekend, while Arsenal and Chelsea will be hoping to be involved in Europa League final on May 29.
Premier League sides will find out their route to the Champions League final in Friday's draw.