Trippier a doubt with Southgate poised to turn to Konsa

Kieran Trippier is a doubt for England’s last-16 tie against Slovakia after the defender missed training again on Friday, Sky Sports News has been told.

Trippier is still nursing a calf injury that dogged the end of his domestic season with Newcastle, but he has managed to start each of England’s three matches in the tournament.

If Trippier doesn’t manage to prove his fitness before Sunday’s game, it’s thought Gareth Southgate will turn to Ezri Konsa as a makeshift left-back ahead of Liverpool’s versatile defender Joe Gomez.

Sky Sports News has been told England are still hopeful Trippier will be fit to start the match in Gelsenkirchen although much will depend on how he fares in the next 24 hours.

Trippier missed training on Tuesday and again when England conducted a full training session behind closed doors, as is routine in the tournament, on Friday.

Kieran Trippier

Sky Sports News has been told Southgate is planning to resist the clamour from outside for wholesale changes, as England begin the knockout phase of the tournament.

Assuming Trippier is fit to play, Kobbie Mainoo in for Conor Gallagher may be the only change from the starting XI that disappointingly drew 0-0 with Slovenia in the final group game on Tuesday.

That would mean Chelsea’s Cole Palmer will have to bide his time on the bench again despite being praised by Southgate for the impact he made when he came on in the second half in Cologne.


It’s thought Phil Foden took a full part in training on Friday in Blankenhain after returning to the camp following two days back home with his partner, following the birth of their third child. He is expected to be available for selection.

With the game against Slovakia still two days away, much could still change in Southgate’s mind over his team selection. But it’s understood his overall feeling is to resist the noise from outside to make changes, with the manager minded instead to tweak the team which he thinks is his strongest option.

Southgate’s left-back gamble and why Shaw’s return is crucial

Sky Sports feature writer Nick Wright:

England’s turgid displays at Euro 2024 have been criticised but there is one area in which they are excelling. Defensively, they have given very little away, conceding only once in three games and allowing fewer expected goals against than any other side.

Kieran Trippier has played his part in their stinginess, defending well, for the most part, as a makeshift left-back. The problem, both for him and the team more broadly, is that any positives, defensively, have been outweighed by glaring issues in possession.


Trippier, a right-footer naturally inclined to look inside from the left-back position and unable to offer a genuine threat on the overlap, encapsulates those issues. It is why news of Luke Shaw’s availability against Slovakia, even if only as a substitute, comes as such a boost.

His absence with a hamstring injury has proved a major headache for Gareth Southgate, who has had to delay his return to the fold despite initial hopes he might recover in time to feature during the group stage. Without a natural alternative in the left-back position – more on that later – the side’s attack has been stymied.

The impact is clear when comparing England’s attacking locations at the tournament so far to those at the 2022 World Cup, when Shaw started all five games. In his absence in Germany, the side’s attacks down the left flank have become fewer and less effective.

England's average positions show the difference between Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier
England’s average positions show the difference between Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier

It is no coincidence that their only goals so far, scored by Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane and set up by Bukayo Saka and Kyle Walker respectively, have come from the right.

The lack of balance on the left has been striking.

Read why Luke Shaw’s return could be key and how Gareth Southgate’s Ben Chilwell gamble backfired

Saka: I’m not the answer at left-back

Bukayo Saka fires the ball into the net but his effort is ruled out for offside

Bukayo Saka insists he is not the solution to England’s left-back conundrum.

With Luke Shaw, the only recognised left-back in Southgate’s ranks, still working back to full fitness having been sidelined with a hamstring injury since February, the England manager may need someone else to step in.

Saka, 22, who has since gone on to become on of the top players in Europe on the right wing, does not see himself as the answer.

“I don’t think putting me out of position is the solution,” he said after a number of pundits had called for Southgate to make the change.

“At the end of the day, I think we can talk about this but it’s in Gareth’s hands so we will just have to trust whoever Gareth selects on the day.”

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