Soccer-England's Saka picks up knock ahead of Ukraine clash
England winger Bukayo Saka faces a fitness test ahead of Saturday's Euro 2020 quarter-final with Ukraine after picking up an injury in training, manager Gareth Southgate told a news conference on Friday.
ROME: England winger Bukayo Saka faces a fitness test ahead of Saturday's Euro 2020 quarter-final with Ukraine after picking up an injury in training, manager Gareth Southgate told a news conference on Friday.
The 19-year-old Saka started England's last two games, against the Czech Republic and Germany, on the right flank and if fit would have a strong chance of starting against Andriy Shevchenko's side at the Stadio Olimpico.
"We've just got to check on Bukayo who had a slight knock today, but other than that everybody is available," said Southgate when asked about his team's fitness.
England have four players - Harry Maguire, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Phil Foden - who would be suspended for a possible semi-final if they were booked against Ukraine but Southgate won't be factoring that into his selection choice.
"I don't really understand that rationale. I understand strategically you might like to do that but I can't think of a country in the world that would like to do that for a quarter-final, especially not a country that has only been to three semi-finals in its history," he said.
"So, no, we've got to focus on tomorrow (Saturday). It would be a big error for us to think of anything else and an insult to Ukraine as well. We won't make any decisions based on yellow cards. We play to win and we have to have everyone available."
England have played all their games on home turf, including before a 40,000 crowd at Wembley for Tuesday's win over Germany, but Southgate said a change of scenery could help his team.
"Actually, I think it's good to come away from Wembley now and it would have been hard to replicate the atmosphere that we had the other day," he said.
"Three days later. I think to have a different focus, different surroundings, different sort of a challenge is good for us," he said.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)