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Ben White misses England training ahead of Wales clash

Ben White misses England training ahead of Wales clash

Arsenal defender Ben White was absent from England training on Monday as the Three Lions gear up for their final World Cup 2022 Group B match with Wales on Tuesday.

The versatile 25-year-old forced his way into Gareth Southgate‘s squad on the back of a stellar start to the campaign with Arsenal, edging out Takehiro Tomiyasu as the club’s first-choice right-back.

White is yet to earn any minutes at the Qatar tournament, though, with Kieran Trippier starting at right-back in England’s first two games with Iran and the USA.

Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold are also vying for minutes in Southgate’s ranks, but England have now been handed a slight concern over White ahead of Tuesday’s finale.

The former Brighton & Hove Albion man was unable to take part in training on Monday due to illness, and the Evening Standard claims that he is now expected to miss the clash with Wales.

Ben White during Arsenal training on October 12, 2022© Reuters

However, all other 25 players in Southgate’s ranks were fit and raring to go at the Al Wakrah Sports Complex, as England search for a win against Wales to guarantee a first-placed finish in the section.

James Maddison was among the players to train in the heat, as the Leicester City playmaker pines for a place in the matchday squad as he battles back from a knee injury.

Southgate has named an unchanged lineup for both of England’s World Cup 2022 matches so far, but the Three Lions boss could elect to make a couple of alterations on matchday three.

A report from The Sun claims that Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson is set to start the game, with the 32-year-old conducting pre-game media duties alongside Southgate.

Jude Bellingham could therefore drop out of the XI, and Southgate has also faced a plethora of calls to introduce Phil Foden from the first whistle against Page’s side.

Phil Foden warms up for England on November 25, 2022© Reuters

The Manchester City attacker has only earned minutes as a substitute so far in Qatar and did not play at all in Friday’s goalless stalemate with the USA, with Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling all starting for the second game in a row.

Speaking to ITV Sport ahead of the clash with Wales, Southgate affirmed that Foden still has a “big part” to play at the World Cup, saying: “We love Phil, he is a super player.

“He was into the first game, we decided not to put him into the second. But he is going to play an important part in this tournament for us, there is no question about that.

“We haven’t got any issue with Phil. In September he started both games for us and we put him into the game versus Iran. We decided to stick with that team and we felt the changes required something a little different for the USA.

“But we are intending to be here as long as we can. And he is a super player and we think the world of him. And he is going to play a big part. He can play off either wing. He can play as a false nine. He can play behind a striker, he doesn’t do that as often for his club. He works hard for the team and of course he has fabulous technical ability.”

England sit three points and three places clear of Wales ahead of Tuesday’s battle of the Brits, with Rob Page‘s side needing to win and hope that Iran’s clash with the USA ends in a draw to snatch a top-two place.

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