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Harry Maguire must return for Scotland or Czech Republic or risk missing the entirety of Euro 2020.
That’s the view of Manchester United legend Gary Neville, who believes that the risk of making his first game back a knockout, is too big of a risk to take.
Maguire missed out on the matchday squad for England’s 1-0 win over Croatia at Wembley, as he continues to recover from the ankle injury which ruled him out of the end of the Premier League season.
Gareth Southgate confirmed that the United skipper was “progressing well” ahead of the huge clash with Scotland on Friday and is now training with the full group.
Harry Maguire is progressing well according to England manager Gareth Southgate
It remains unlikely he will make that one however, with John Stones and Tyrone Mings likely to rekindle their partnership at the heart of England’s defence.
And Neville, who was part of England’s coaching staff at the last European Championships, believes Maguire must “surface” before the end of the group or accept he will miss the entire tournament.
He told Sky Sports: “I think that Maguire, if he can get back to a level in between matches, he will come back in.
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“But then, I think it’s interesting, if he was going to come back in I think he has to come back in certainly against Scotland and if it is not against Scotland, it has to be against Czech Republic in the last [group] game.
“You couldn’t make Harry Maguire’s first game a knockout game. So Harry Maguire must surface in the next two matches, else I fear you won’t see him for the rest of the tournament and it will be Mings and Stones.”
Mings was touted as a possible weak link before the start of the tournament, but impressed as the Three Lions snuffed out the World Cup runners-up.
“I think Tyrone Mings did really well, I think it was a really important match for him obviously,” Neville continued.
“If you looked at Stones and Mings as the partnership pre-tournament, you would have concerns, particularly coming up against the better teams.
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“I know people have dismissed Croatia after the first game, but not many were dismissing him before the game, so I still say that was a really good win for England.
“Tyrone Mings played really well. I think the reason Kieran Trippier played at left-back was for his tournament experience and know-how, which meant ultimately Tyrone Mings had experience on both sides in Stones and Trippier.”
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Jack Grealish was another who missed out against Croatia, remaining on the bench, despite a huge clamour for him to start.
His inclusion for the game against Steve Clarke’s side has been thrown into some doubt after England confirmed the Aston Villa captain trained away from the main group on Wednesday.
Grealish is still managing the shin injury which disrupted the second half of his season and was seen with ice on his leg following the warm-up win over Austria at the Riverside Stadium.