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'We risk breaking him' - England boss Southgate cautious about Grealish role at Euro 2020

23:15 BST 25/05/2021
Jack Grealish England 2020
The midfielder recently returned from a three-month spell out with injury and the Three Lions boss is wary of overusing him

England manager Gareth Southgate admits he must be careful not to overuse Jack Grealish at Euro 2020.

The midfielder has been named in the Three Lions' preliminary squad for the competition and is expected to be part of the final 26-man team, which will be announced on June 1.

But Grealish has played only four games for Aston Villa since mid-February, having spent three months sidelined with injury.

What has been said?

Southgate is aware he risks damaging the 25-year-old if he is expected to play the full 90 minutes of every game.

"I don’t see him as an injury doubt," Southgate said. "I see a realistic view in terms of where can we get to from where he is in the space of two weeks, in terms of 90 minutes, 90 minutes, 90 minutes?

"We risk breaking him. We can’t overload him, so we’ve got to manage that really correctly for his welfare, as well as for performance.”

He added: "Can these guys go for six 90 minutes? Very unlikely I would say. [Grealish] is not able to train on consecutive days for example, and he hasn’t had a high training load going into those matches. There are elements of risks that brings."

When does England's Euro 2020 campaign begin?

The Three Lions will play their first game of the competition on June 13 when they face Croatia at Wembley.

They will then take on Scotland five days later before finishing the group stage with a clash against Czech Republic.

The winner of their group will face the team that finishes second in Group F, which consists of France, Germany, Hungary and Portugal.

The runner-up in Group D will face whoever finishes second between Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

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