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Injury Woes Cast Shadow Over Euro 2024 Preparations

With Expert Insights From
Ben Dinnery
Ben Dinnery
Injury Analyst

As the countdown to the European Championships intensifies, several national teams are grappling with significant injury concerns that could have major implications in Germany.

High-profile casualties and injury doubts are the cause of much concern as players scramble to prove their fitness ahead of this prestigious Euro 2024 tournament.

The Three Lions’ Injury Problems

This summer, England will be without the likes of Harry Maguire and Reece James, while Luke Shaw is facing a race against time to prove his fitness, having been sidelined with a hamstring injury for almost four months.

Elsewhere, Anthony Gordon admits he is a ‘little rusty’ after missing around three weeks of football due to an Achilles issue, although he is good to go after a 65-minute run out against Iceland.

Bukayo Saka is also progressing after seeing his game time limited to less than half an hour over the last month due to a training ground groin strain.

Les Blues’ Defensive Setbacks

Not far behind tournament favourites England in the betting markets is France, although Didier Deschamps’ squad have also been hit hard, particularly defensively, where Lucas Hernandez, Wesley Fofana, and Boubacar Kamara are out of contention after suffering ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.

But despite their problems at the back, there are no guarantees that ever-present Arsenal defender William Saliba will start in the opener.

However, any hopes of lifting the trophy will hinge on the fitness of Kylian Mbappé; with the Real Madrid striker managing knee and back niggles that means we may not see the best of him until the knockout phase as his sharpness improves.

A foot injury has prevented Aurélien Tchouaméni from participating in the warm-up fixtures, and question marks remain over his availability.

Euro Injuries Everywhere

Off-the-field issues are not exclusive to the pre-tournament favourites.

The Netherlands have lost players such as Marten de Roon, Sven Botman, and Jurrien Timber, while Ronald Koeman was prepared to give Barcelona playmaker Frenkie de Jong every chance to prove his fitness, only for an ankle injury sustained in March to end his hopes of featuring.

“We’ve been doing a lot of [work] the last few weeks, but my ankle needs more time, unfortunately,” he recently posted on social media.

Belgium right-back Thomas Meunier is an injury doubt after the 32-year-old was substituted in the three-goal friendly win over Luxembourg last weekend. The defender, who has 66 caps for his country, did not travel with the group to their base camp in Germany on Wednesday as he continues to undergo evaluations on a muscle strain.

Current European Champions Italy are sweating on several players ahead of their opener against Albania on Saturday. Inter Milan midfielder Davide Frattesi is the latest injury concern for manager Luciano Spalletti after pulling out of training on Monday due to an apparent muscle issue.

Domestic teammate Nicolo Barella has also been struggling due to a thigh problem, although the Italian Football Federation has confirmed that he will be ‘reintegrated into the group in the coming days’ after tests revealed it was fatigue-related.

Nicolo Fagioli was absent from training earlier this week after picking up an undisclosed issue during the win over Bosnia.

Of course, Premier League fantasy football favourite Destiny Udogie is missing following thigh surgery back in April.

Conclusion

The uncertainty around player availability underscores the unpredictable nature of football. It provides a constant challenge of maintaining player fitness, particularly within the confines of tournament football, where the weight of the nation is felt.

See our Euro 2024 Injuries page for more coverage throughout the tournament, providing the latest team news, player availability, and all the breaking injury updates.

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