England suffer Sturridge blow

2014-09-05 22:30
Daniel Sturridge (AFP)

London - England striker Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out of his side's opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland next week.

Sturridge sustained a thigh injury during a training session with Roy Hodgson's squad at their St George's Park base on Friday.

The Liverpool star was sent for a scan and it was decided he would not be able to recover in time to feature against the Swiss in Basel on Monday.

"Daniel Sturridge picked up an injury on his thigh in training," an FA spokesman said.

"He has had a scan and will now return to Liverpool FC for treatment. He will play no part in the forthcoming Switzerland match."

Sturridge's absence is a major blow to Hodgson as he was one of England's better performers in the lacklustre 1-0 friendly win over Norway at Wembley on Wednesday.

Hodgson has not called up a replacement for Sturridge as he considers who will partner captain Wayne Rooney in attack in the most difficult of his side's group stage fixtures.

Arsenal's new signing Danny Welbeck is the most likely candidate, with Liverpool targetman Rickie Lambert another option for Hodgson.

Welbeck injected pace and verve into England's performance after coming off the bench in the second half against Norway.

The 23-year-old's Arsenal and England team-mate Jack Wilshere believes Welbeck can have a big impact for club and country after leaving Manchester United.

"He is a great addition for Arsenal and hopefully he will keep performing for England as well," Wilshere said.

"He has got great enthusiasm, he wants to run, he will track back, and he has got great quality.

"A lot of people don't give him credit for his technical ability, but he is great on the ball.

"I am sure there were a few clubs wanting him and there are not many players his age who move from one big club to another big club so that shows his quality."- Dismal World Cup -

There was another worrying sign for Hodgson as Chelsea defender Gary Cahill sat out training on Friday with an ankle complaint, although he is expected to return in time to feature in the Group E opener.

England came in for plenty of criticism against Norway, their first match after a dismal World Cup campaign, and Cahill conceded it will take a dynamic performance against Switzerland to start restoring the nation's pride in the team.

"It's disappointing, but expected from what happened in the summer," said Cahill.

"We've got a huge game on Monday and we know it's going to be very tough. It's a chance for us to bounce back in a game which really matters.

"It's certainly one of the hardest games for us in the group. It's a great opportunity for us to go and bounce back from the summer."

The Chelsea defender said fans had to have patience with a "very young squad" as they found their feet at international level.

"It's tough to come into an England team, never mind where there is so called doom and gloom out there. The quality is certainly here," he added.

With Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard retired, it was Wilshere and Liverpool's Jordan Henderson who anchored England's midfield against Norway.

Neither was especially impressive, but Wilshere is confident they can grow into a dominant partnership.

"Obviously it's disappointing when Steven and Frank retired, they were massive players for England and that is the level me and Jordan have got to get to. We're confident," Wilshere added.

Read more on:    england  |  euro 2016  |  daniel sturridge  |  soccer

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