Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out of England’s clash with Moldova on Friday with a thigh injury.
The injury, which Sturridge suffered prior to last Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United, is not believed to be serious although it is unclear whether the striker will be fit to play against the Ukraine next Tuesday.
Sturridge has been in top form this season, scoring three game winning goals to propel Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table. After playing through the pain against United, Sturridge turned up at St. George’s Park Monday eager to train and play against Moldova.
Instead, the concerns Brendan Rodgers had over Sturridge’s fitness prompted the national team medical staff to hold the striker out of training and provide additional treatment. Sturridge will be evaluated again over the weekend to determine whether he will be fit to take on the Ukraine. England departs Sunday evening for Tuesday’s clash in Kiev.
With Sturridge out of the mix, England boss Roy Hodgson will likely start Danny Welbeck alongside Rickie Lambert, who the manager has already named as one of the starters. Jermain Defoe is available to play against Moldova but will likely be used in a substitute role.
Sturridge joins a growing list of English players who have been ruled out for Friday’s match against the 123rd ranked team in the world. Wayne Rooney is out due to his head wounds and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is sidelined with a knee injury while Phil Jones, Glen Johnson and Steven Caulker are all recovering from ankle injuries.
Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.
Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.
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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.
Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.
The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.
McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.