Foden returns to England training ahead of Slovakia clash

Phil Foden has returned to England training ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2024 last-16 meeting with Slovakia after the birth of his third child.

The FA revealed on Wednesday that Foden had returned to the UK due to a “pressing family matter”. Sky Sports News understands Foden travelled to be with his pregnant partner, with Gareth Southgate’s blessing, for the birth of his third child.

He returned to the camp in time for a closed training session on Friday.

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Sky Sports senior reporter Rob Dorsett gives the latest from England’s training camp as Kieran Trippier and Declan Rice missed Tuesday’s practice session

Southgate started the attacking midfielder in England’s games against Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia as they topped Group C.

However, England won just five points and scored only two goals in those matches, while Foden’s position on the left of the attack has been questioned.

England take on Slovakia in Gelsenkirchen at 5pm on Sunday, and will play either Switzerland or Italy in the quarter-finals if they progress.

Guehi: No favourable side of Euro 2024 draw

Marc Guehi dismissed talk that England have a “favourable” European Championship draw as Southgate’s side prepare to kick off the knockout phase against Slovakia.

The curtain came down on the group stage on Wednesday evening, when Georgia’s shock win against Portugal meant the Euro 2020 runners-up avoided the Netherlands in the last 16.

Instead of facing the side who are seventh in FIFA’s world rankings, England will take on 45th-placed Slovakia when they return to Gelsenkirchen this Sunday.

Furthermore, Spain, Germany, Portugal, France and Belgium are in the other half of the draw, adding further expectation to a group who were booed at the end of Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Slovenia.

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Marc Guehi pays homage to the England boss Gareth Southgate as he looks ahead to the game against Slovakia

“I think everyone has seen in this competition that there is not a favourable side of the draw,” centre-back Guehi said.

“Every team, every opponent, is really tough to come up against. I think we need to remain calm.

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We take a look England’s potential opponents on their route to the Euro 2024 final

“We have put pressure on ourselves but we are calm and focused and we need to continue to focus on one thing at a time.

“I think what builds confidence is togetherness, performances, the fact that we haven’t lost a game yet, which is really important.

“All the other things you can’t really control. I think it’s important we just control what we can control and that’s remaining focused and dealing with whatever obstacles are put in front of us.”

Chin up Anthony! Gordon the butt of jokes in England camp after bike fall

Anthony Gordon was involved in a cycling accident
Anthony Gordon was involved in a cycling accident

Anthony Gordon has become the butt of jokes in the England camp after the forward fell off his bike and gashed his chin.

The 23-year-old made his major tournament debut as a late substitute in the 0-0 draw with Slovenia on Tuesday, which confirmed the Euro 2020 runners-up as Group C winners.

Eyebrows were raised when Gordon turned up to training two days later sporting a big cut on his chin, as well as on his hands and legs, which it turns out occurred when a recovery session went off track.

A number of players went on a bike ride as part of their recovery on Wednesday, with the Newcastle forward hitting the deck on the tracks at their Blankenhain basecamp.

Guehi said with a laugh: “He fell off his bike! The boys went out on a bike ride.

“I actually wasn’t there. I heard about it and I was actually talking to him, but not paying attention to him. Then he turned around and I saw that massive gash on his chin!

“But he’s OK, he’s OK, but he just fell off his bike. It’s been a bit of a joke in camp but he’s doing well.”

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