Raheem Sterling will miss England’s World Cup match against Senegal in the round of 16 because of a “family matter” that requires his immediate attention.
Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden will start for England’s national team on Sunday in the knockout round, according to earlier today’s news, which sparked speculation that Raheem Sterling will miss out to make room for the two other wide players.
Sterling will not play, as England has now confirmed on their official Twitter account, even though the Chelsea winger was still anticipated to come off the bench to begin the game.
If Saka or Foden must leave the game for any reason, Southgate will have to rely on Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish to fill in. These are all excellent alternatives, but Sterling, along with Harry Kane, is one of England’s most seasoned players and a reliable performer; his absence will undoubtedly be felt greatly by his nation.
Sterling will be missing a knockout match at an international tournament for the first time since making his England debut in 2012.
The Three Lions’ defeat to Italy in Euro 2012 was the last time they advanced to the knockout stages of a tournament without the 27-year-old.
England takes on Senegal at the Al Bayt Stadium, knowing that a win would put them in the quarter-finals against 2018 World Cup winners France.
Les Bleus defeated Poland earlier on Sunday, securing their place in the final eight teams vying for glory in Qatar.