Rashford, Mount and Pope to Miss England’s UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers Against Italy and Ukraine as Southgate Targets European Glory

Rashford, Mount and Pope to Miss England’s UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers Against Italy and Ukraine as Southgate Targets European Glory

After losing to Italy on penalties in the 2020 UEFA European Championship Final in Wembley, the England national team under Gareth Southgate went on a poor run of form prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. This prompted many to think that the Three Lions are likely to fare below par in the quadrennial tournament, but they turned on the switch at the right time and went to the quarterfinal with an outstanding scoring spree. If it was not the eventual runner-up France’s resilience, England’s continued decent performance would have sent it to successful final appearances in major competitions, or better, winning it all. 

After a three-month hiatus, the England players will have another go at major silverwares, when they kickstart their 2024 UEFA Euro campaign with the qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine in this week’s international break.

A 2020 UEFA Euro Final Rematch Awaits

In a recent interview, Southgate admitted that he almost quit the England gaffer post after the squad’s dreadful display prior to the quadrennial FIFA World Cup. But the support and encouragement gathered ultimately made the 52-year-old stay on as the Three Lions boss, at least until the 2024 UEFA European Championship in Germany.

Just days ago, the former Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender named his 25-man squad that will be participating in two qualifying matches later this month, with Brentford F. C. forward Ivan Toney earning his first ever call-up by the national team upon a great form with the Bees. The Three Lions will pick up where they left off in this competition in the first fixture of this latest international break, when they take on Roberto Mancini’s gli Azzurri for a rematch of the Euro 2020 Final in Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.


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Rashford, Mount and Pope Missing

The England players will be eager to revenge on their European counterparts, having lost to them in the 2020 UEFA Euro Final via cruel spot kicks. Nevertheless, Southgate’s men will be without important figures such as Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Newcastle United’s Nick Pope due to injuries in their match against the Italians as well as the second qualifying match versus Ukraine. The Manchester-born Rashford was replaced minutes from time in the Red Devils’ 3-1 win over Fulham in the FA Cup, and his absence will certainly be felt by the Three Lions as the 25-year-old forward is one of the most in-form players after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Although losing star players in Rashford and Mount, the 52-year-old Southgate is likely not to name any replacements for the duo; His only alteration to the squad is bringing in Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Fraser Forster as the replacement for the injured Pope, which means Southgate will be bringing 25 players to Italy and the match against Ukraine at home. If anything, this shows that Southgate has the confidence in his other forward options, namely Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka, that they are capable of bagging the goals England needs in this international break.

Kane to Break Rooney’s All-Time Record for England?

Among all players in Southgate’s England squad, captain and Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane would be the most desperate one to represent his country again in an international match. The 29-year-old striker tied Wayne Rooney’s all-time scoring record for the Three Lions with his first penalty against France in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinal last time around and almost level things up and overtook the former Manchester United captain, had his second spot kick ended in the back of the net instead of skying over the bar.

Kane, who turns 30 this coming July, will be eyeing to redeem himself this time around, with him sets to captain the England squad that will be travelling to Naples to face Italy and welcoming Ukraine to the Wembley Stadium later this week.

Elsewhere in the United States, former USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter’s contract renewal with the national team is still under considerations, here is why.

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