Leeds United duo Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford handed potential England boost ahead of Euros
Leeds United duo Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford have been handed a potential boost for inclusion with England at this summer's Euros.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate will name an expanded provisional England squad for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament on Tuesday afternoon.
The England head coach will pick a larger-than-anticipated group at 1pm this afternoon for an initial training camp, which will then be whittled down to the final 26 on June 1.
The decision to do so has been taken in light of the ongoing assessments of fitness levels as well as the number of players participating in the Champions League and Europa League finals later this week.
Southgate, who faces the media at 2pm, has some big decisions to make as he prepares to name his chosen players.
Expectation is high heading into the first tournament the Three Lions will play on home soil – in part, at least – since Euro 96, with the run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals still fresh in the mind.
Southgate has some tough calls to make, from the number of squad members to select and dealing without some during preparations, to the widely-debated right-back conundrum and his injured players.
Leeds' Kalvin Phillips sustained a shoulder complaint against West Brom on Sunday after a late challenge saw him exit the field of play under the help of medical staff.
The Elland Road club said the midfielder’s injury “is currently being treated conservatively”, adding they “remain confident he will be available for Euro 2020" if selected.
United forward Bamford, meanwhile, has been pushing Southgate for selection all season having scored 17 goals and bagged a further seven assists in the Premier League this term.
The 27-year-old ended the top flight campaign as the second highest English goalscorer behind golden boot winner and England captain Harry Kane.
Bamford missed out on a call-up in March in favour of Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins but the expanded squad may hand him an opportunity to impress.
Southgate may decide to roll the dice on some of those whose fitness is up in the air, with England now naming their 26-man squad on the UEFA deadline of June 1.
The decision to increase squad sizes from 23, just like having five substitutes per game this summer, is aimed at helping balance player workload at the end of an intense campaign, but Southgate was not keen on the concept of expanded squads in March.
“I know there’s some discussion about perhaps an extended number in the squad,” the England manager said. “I’m not certain I’m behind that.
“I know Covid could play a part but I think there’s a skill to picking 23.
“It means you’ve got to make good decisions and important decisions and I think some of that can be lost as you get an extended group.
“So, yeah, let’s see how that develops but I’m not 100 per cent for it, I’d have to say.”
England are set to play Austria and Romania in two warm-up friendlies next week before they kick-off Euro 2020 against Croatia on June 13.