Lallana joins Sterling in pulling out of England squad

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Adam Lallana Liverpool 2018-19
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A groin injury will mean the Liverpool midfielder will miss the matches against Spain and Switzerland

Liverpool attacking midfielder Adam Lallana will not feature for England against Spain or Switzerland because of a groin strain.

The 30-year-old, who was not included in the squad for the World Cup that progressed to the semi-finals, has suffered a problem that requires further assessment.

He will therefore return to his club, missing out on England's UEFA Nations League opener with Spain at Wembley Stadium and the subsequent friendly with Switzerland at Leicester City's King Power Stadium.

Lallana has played just three minutes of Liverpool's four opening Premier League matches and the withdrawal is the latest in a succession of recent injury problems.

The ex-Southampton man missed large swathes of the 2017-18 season due to a hamstring problem which restricted him to just 16 outings in all competitions.

That lack of exposure to first-team football saw him overlooked by England coach Gareth Southgate for the World Cup, and those fitness issues have now bled into the new campaign.

He becomes the second player to pull out of Southgate's original 23-man squad, with Raheem Sterling having withdrawn on Monday due to a back problem .

Southgate had yet to call up a direct replacement for either player but did enlist Lallana's Liverpool team-mate Dominic Solanke for training after he was promoted from the Under-21s.

Uncapped Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli has, however, joined the group, which already includes Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford and Alex McCarthy.

The news follows reports the Three Lions coach is concerned over the fitness of captain Harry Kane, who has looked visibly jaded during the opening weeks of Tottenham Hotspur's Premier League campaign.

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The Mirror  reports that Southgate will hold talks with the World Cup golden boot winner before determining his availability for the clash with Spain on Saturday.

It could lead to Kane being rested for the friendly against Switzerland next Tuesday.