Just a week before England kick-off their greatly anticipated EURO 2020 campaign, the Three Lions have one final game to take care of.
A warm-up game match against Romania at The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough.
The game comes just 3 days after Gareth Southgate’s side beat Austria 1-0, thanks to a second-half goal from Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.
There were a few positives to take from the previous game such as the debuts of Ben Godfrey and Ben White, Jack Grealish was once again excellent and Saka got his first goal for England.
However, just a few minutes before the final whistle, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold left the field injured, kicking his EURO 2020 adventure into the bin. This clouded an otherwise positive evening.
Anyway, looking forwards, today’s game against Romania should be an easier game, on paper at least.
Who will play for England? Well Jordan Henderson needs match-fitness if he has any chance of playing group-stage football this summer. Due to play on Wednesday against Austria, he pulled out on the morning of the game. So if fit, expect to see some minutes from him. Southgate has signalled he plans on including him.
Dean Henderson, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Marucs Rashford will all be with the squad after their Europa League final defeat. Shaw and Rashford will get minutes, Henderson may depending on what Southgate wants to do with the goalkeeper situation. Maguire however, is injured and is more than likely will watch on from the side-lines.
Chelsea and Manchester City’s players will join the squad on Friday, so it would be a shock if any of them start from the beginning but may get some time off the bench.
Declan Rice will play alongside the guarantees of Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane.
It will present one last time to shine for those on the standby list, one of them will be called upon after Alexander-Arnold’s withdrawal.
Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse could start after he didn’t midweek. Expect to see Ollie Watkins at some point with Jeese Lingard involved.
Anything could happen and the uncertainties of the injuries, players who have only just joined up with the squad and the fact it’s a friendly make it impossible to predict England’s line-up. So do not be shocked with what we see before the game.
Coming into the game England have won their last five games only conceding one in that time. Compared to Romania who have only won one of their last five, losing their last three.
So, who are the players to look out for in the opposition? Most players won’t be known to many England fans, but there are two names that may ring a bell.
Former Spurs defender, Vlad Chiriches makes up part of the defence. Also son of the legendary, Gheorgehe Hagi, and Rangers superstar, Ianis Hagi will certainly make an appearance at the Riverside.
They may not be as dangerous as the likes of Croatia and Czech Republic, who England in their group games, but Romania are certainly a solid pre-tournament test for Southgate’s men.