England forced into squad update on eve of Ukraine clash

Reece James has returned to Chelsea for assessment on an ‘ongoing issue’

Jamie Braidwood
Saturday 25 March 2023 12:00 GMT
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Reece James has withdrawn from the England squad to face Ukraine in the Euro 2024 qualifiers on Sunday.

The right back, who was an 85th minute substitute in the 2-1 win in Italy on Thursday, has returned to Chelsea for assessment on an “ongoing issue”.

James was dealing with a hamstring injury prior to the international break but played the full match in the 2-2 draw against Everton last weekend.

The 23-year-old has not been replaced in Gareth Southgate’s squad, which leaves Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier as the options to start at right back against Ukraine.

Ben Chilwell is expected to come at left back in place of the suspended Luke Shaw, who has remained with the squad despite his red card in Naples.

Chelsea face a double-header of games at Stamford Bridge following the international break, with Aston Villa at home next Saturday before the visit of Liverpool on Tuesday.

Chelsea travel to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on April 12.

England host Ukraine at Wembley on Sunday as Southgate’s side look to make it two wins out of two to start Group C following their first victory in Italy since 1961.

The rest of the squad are continuing their preparations at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground.

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