England manager Gareth Southgate is gearing up to be without a number of star names in his Euro 2024 build-up.
The 23-man squad is likely to include players who will feature in the Champions League final on June 1 at Wembley, just 15 days before their Group C opener against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen.
Southgate faced a similar difficulty before the inaugural Nations League finals in 2019, when seven players arrived late after Liverpool beat Tottenham in the Champions League final.
— England (@England) December 2, 2023
There were similar headaches ahead of the last Euros as Chelsea and Manchester City contested the 2021 Champions League final, but Southgate insisted it was just an occupational hazard he would have to cope with.
“You would love to have all of the players for all of the preparation camps, but that’s not our reality,” Southgate said.
“We’ve dealt with that in the past, so we know what it needs to look like.
“It’s important they get some sort of psychological break in between but, of course, the longer they play, the less you can give them is the reality.
“What we’ve got to do now is, now we know the draw, look at the opponents for those (warm-up) games again a bit more clearly.”
England have already confirmed March warm-up friendlies against Brazil and Belgium at Wembley.
The Euro 2020 runners-up are understood to be planning two further friendlies on home soil against as yet unspecified opposition.