England handed key midfield fitness boost before Italy showdown


ngland have been handed a timely fitness boost after Phil Foden returned to training ahead of Saturday’s match against Italy.

The Manchester City midfielder, who on Thursday won the PFA Young Player of the Year award for the second season in succession, had been out of action after contracting Covid-19 earlier this month.

Foden missed England’s opening two games of the new Nations League campaign, the defeat by Hungary and last-gasp draw in Germany, but is now back training at St George’s Park.

England face Italy at Molineux on Saturday before rounding off this four-game stretch with another meeting against Hungary at the same venue on Tuesday.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate previously stressed that he would not rush Foden back into action. Southgate is expected to make changes for the visit of Italy – a rematch of last summer’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley – and has a near fully-fit squad at his disposal.

Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips is set to miss out, though, after picking up an injury during Tuesday’s draw in Munich. Leicester full-back James Justin is back fit after picking up a knock in Budapest last weekend.

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