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Sterling to rejoin England World Cup squad ahead of France quarter-final after armed break-in at family home

9:40 AM GMT 08/12/2022
Raheem Sterling England World Cup 2022
England forward Raheem Sterling is heading back to Qatar ahead of Saturday's match with France after returning home to deal with a family issue.
  • Sterling left England squad
  • Will now return
  • England play on Saturday

WHAT HAPPENED: The England forward left Gareth Southgate's squad before the team's last-16 World Cup win over Senegal after a reported break-in by armed intruders at his family home. Sterling started England's first two matches in Qatar but then dropped to the bench against Wales. He was then withdrawn from the squad to return home, but is now heading back to rejoin his team-mates.

WHAT THEY SAID?: "Raheem Sterling will return to England’s World Cup base in Qatar," read a Football Association statement. "The Chelsea forward temporarily left to attend to a family matter but is now expected to rejoin the squad in Al Wakrah on Friday (9 December) ahead of the quarter-final with France."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Sterling's return to the squad does give Southgate another attacking option for Saturday's crunch match against the reigning world champions, although it's likely the Chelsea forward will once again have to settle for a place on the bench. Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden both impressed in the victory over Senegal and could start again on Saturday with Harry Kane in attack.

WHAT NEXT? The winners of the quarter-final between England and France will go on to face either Morocco or Portugal for a place in the final.