World Cup 2022 LIVE: James Maddison misses England training, Wales' Roberts 'feared for his life' with pneumonia | The Sun

ENGLAND have been dealt a blow as James Maddison has missed training.

England are scheduled to play Iran on Monday and Maddison faces a race against time to be fit for the clash after missing England training on Thursday.

The midfielder picked up a slight injury in Leicester's last match and will hope to get back to full fitness before England's opener against Iran.

While the rest of Gareth Southgate's squad trained, they were pictured struggling in the heat in Qatar – having to take on plenty of fluids as they adjust to their surroundings.

Elsewhere, Wales and Burnley defender Connor Roberts has opened up on a time where he feared for his life after contracting pneumonia last year.

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Stay tuned with all the latest ahead of the tournament…

  • Kostas Lianos

    Harris on World Cup dream

    Wales forward Mark Harris revealed how a slip by ham-fisted boss Rob Page left him fearing his World Cup dream was over, SunSport's Martin Blackburn writes.

    Harris said; "Basically I was in training with Cardiff, I went up to the canteen, we're not allowed phones in the canteen so I came back downstairs. I had a missed call off Rob Page.

    “Instantly I was just thinking the worst and I thought I hadn't made it.I rung him back straight away, he didn't answer so then we had a meeting and I was sat there gutted thinking I hadn't made it.

    "Straight after the meeting I ran back downstairs and I had a WhatsApp from him saying 'sorry mate, didn't mean to ring you, see you soon'.

    "So I still didn't actually know from the 'see you soon'. I was thinking 'maybe, maybe not'. I officially found out just a few hours before it came out on TV. I was relieved. I can't put into words how I felt then"

  • Kostas Lianos

    More from Coady

    Everton loanee and England ace Conor Coady has hit back at recent criticism.

    Coady insists those criticising the Three Lions' backline are wrong.

    The defender said when asked if he is offended by the criticism England's defence has received: "Massively.

    "I am a defender and you don’t like that. We read, hear and watch everything.

    "We know how we want to defend and our defensive record has been fantastic . We need to keep looking at ourselves"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Coady on the heat

    Everton ace Conor Coady admitted today's training under Qatar's scorching heat was "tough"

    Coady told SunSport's Charlie Wyett in Qatar: "It was hard this morning. It was a long session and it was something we needed to get a feel for it and understand it.

    "It is tough, of course it is tough. I am not going to sit here and say it is not tough but we are professional players.

    "Training this morning was fantastic. It's a different environment. We want to enjoy it – it's a World Cup. We are here in 30C heat but we must not think about the heat or worry about it.

    "Let's enjoy playing in the sun – we do not get it too much at home so we must enjoy it"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Roberts opens up

    Burnley and Wales ace Connor Roberts revealed he feared for his life after a scare with deadly pneumonia.

    Roberts was taken to hospital after contracting the severe illness last December following his Premier League debut.

    The 27-year-old says doctors could not give his wife Georgina any assurances that he would survive the potentially fatal lung-infection, never mind make a comeback and now play at a World Cup.

    Roberts said: "I had pneumonia and I was in hospital for a few days. I was really, really struggling. My wife was at home and she was asking the doctors, ‘Is he going to be okay?’

    "He couldn’t actually give her the answer that I was going to be alright because a high percentage of people who have what I had, don’t actually make it.

    "So, the fact that I am still playing, and can still do what I do, is a good thing. Everyone knows I like to get up and down when I play and I'll run all day so my lungs are a massive part of the ability to do that.

    "I was worried because it affects the lungs and I had to have numerous scans. I was told from the people who read those scans that what I had was severe. It wasn’t a small thing"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Marcus Rashford's comeback

    Marcus Rashford had probably given up hope last summer of being in Qatar as his miserable last season came to a close, writes SunSport's Neil Custis.

    Indeed it was questionable whether he should be playing for Manchester United never mind England.

    He was used as a sub nearly as many times as he started games in the league – 12 to 13.

    His form and confidence was shot and there were even thoughts in his camp as to whether a move abroad was needed to revive his career.

    Fast forward and just over four months of the Erik Ten Hag reign has revived the 25-year-old and got him back in Gareth Southgate’s squad.

    Rashford said: “He’s had a big impact, with a lot of changes. It takes some time to adapt for him and the players as well. But so far, it’s been good. We’re enjoying working under him and we’re just looking forward to what the future holds”

  • Kostas Lianos

    Hjulmand takes swipe

    Kasper Hjulmand has blasted Qatar’s ‘ridiculous’ stunt using fake fans to whip up World Cup fever, writes SunSport's Andrew Dillon in Doha.

    A series of ads portray supposed supporters of competing nations – among them England and Argentina – waving banners and chanting for their teams.

    But there are claims it is nothing more than a gimmick using paid local actors in a bid to drum up some atmosphere ahead of the most controversial World Cup ever.

    Hjulmand said: “It is ridiculous if it is as it appears to be. It's theatre. I remember something similar from the World Cup in South Korea, where the locals were divided and had to be fans of different teams.

    “I think it's talking down to us if they think that you can imagine people are fans who are galloping happily for Denmark, England and so on, if you're not that too in a year's time.

    “It's talking down to people, it's theatre, repeats the national coach”

  • Kostas Lianos

    Bold Wales prediction

    Former Manchester United and Wales ace Clayton Blackmore is confident his country will make it to the quarter-finals as long as Gareth Bale remains fit.

    Blackmore told BETDAQ: “I think they’ll get to the quarter-finals. The first two games are really important against USA and Iran, they’ve got to get something out of both of them.

    "I think they’ll get through the group stage and turn somebody over, but then they’ll come up against somebody really big, and it might be a bridge too far. But it wouldn’t surprise me if they got to the semi-final, because we’ve got the talent in the team, with both the young lads and the senior lads.”

    “But Bale needs to be in form, and he will be in form. He’s very experienced now – he put the ball in for the own goal against Ukraine to help us get through to the finals. He just needs to be fit so he’s on the pitch, then he can produce something special at any time. You need players like that in your team.

    “He’s got plenty of young lads who can run for fun around him, so you don’t need him to be able to run. As long as he’s fit and on the pitch, he can do something at any time. You could even have him on the bench and bring him on when it’s 0-0 against tired teams”

    Credit: Getty
  • Kostas Lianos

    Cole on Saka

    Joe Cole claims Arsenal star Bukayo Saka should start ahead of Chelsea ace Raheem Sterling against Iran.

    Cole told William Hill’s Stripped Podcast: “As much as I love Raheem [Sterling], he’s not in form. Saka’s playing for the team at the top of the league, and the same could be said with [James] Maddison.

    “It will evolve as the tournament goes on. Five substitutions as well – it’s a game of 16 players effectively.

    “I’ll go [Jordan] Pickford in goal, centre halves I’ll go [John] Stones and [Ben] White in the group stage. [Kieran] Trippier right back, [Luke] Shaw left back. Then I’d play a midfield of Declan [Rice], [Jude] Bellingham and Mason [Mount] – Declan holding then the two 10s given licence to go forward.

    “Then I’d play Harry Kane up top obviously, then probably start with Phil Foden on the right, then Saka or Sterling on the left. There are four players who are going to play regularly – Pickford, Stones, Declan Rice, then Harry Kane.

    “You only take Kane off when the game’s done. That will be a problem for the other strikers because they know they’re going there to play second fiddle. Everywhere else is up for grabs.

    “I hate it when people say Gareth [Southgate] doesn’t know what he’s doing – he’s the most successful England manager since Alf Ramsey, that’s a fact. He’s got all the information and he can see how they’re training. So, let’s all get behind Gareth”

  • Kostas Lianos

    Cole on Maddison

    Joe Cole believes Leicester star James'Maddison's personality could play a key role for England in the 2022 World Cup.

    Cole told William Hill’s Stripped Podcast: "The big one for me was Maddison.

    "Form wise and quality wise he should be playing, but also because of his personality – he’s an England player. He won’t shirk the responsibilities; he’ll get on the ball.

    “There will be times later in the tournament when the game might be in the balance and you need to be brave and accept the ball as a midfield player and he will do that.

    "You can play number 10s deeper now and we need to set the tempo of our games. I’m so happy he’s in”

  • Kostas Lianos

    Qatar wall advert

    SunSport's Andrew Dillon found a wall advert on the underground in Doha.

    A reminder that this is a winter World Cup, it seems – but who are they trying to kid?

    It's over 30C in Qatar and England players are truly feeling the heat.

    The players are all training with vests instead of shirts

  • Kostas Lianos

    Winterburn on Maguire

    Harry Maguire will play for England despite his Manchester United struggles, claims Nigel Winterburn.

    Winterburn told FreeSuperTips: "I wouldn't think he's very happy at the moment not playing, I don't know any player who would be.

    "If you want a move away you have to weigh up how long you have left on your contract, do you believe in yourself to force your way back into the team, do you fit into the managers plans and it doesn't seem that way at the moment.

    "I wonder if it's solely down to form or the way that the manager wants to play. ou've got to make sure that your own form is right, and Maguire is going through a hugely difficult period.

    "It's difficult to then go and play for England when you're under the spotlight for Manchester United. coming into this World Cup every single performance is going to be judged because he's going to play.

    "I don't see any way that he doesn't play for Gareth Southgate, but everything he does is going to be analysed. Southgate has put himself under huge pressure with certain comments on why certain players haven't gone and others have.

    "The thing that we get at the end of it all, Southgate trusts certain players and Harry Maguire is clearly one of those players"

  • Kostas Lianos

    England feel the burn

    England are training under sweltering heat in Qatar ahead of their World Cup opener.

    Gareth Southgate's men felt the burn – literally – during today's training session.

    The Three Lions arrived in the Middle Eastern country yesterday.

    And they are set to take on Iran in their first match of the tournament

    Credit: PA
    Credit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
    Credit: Reuters
    Credit: PA
  • Kostas Lianos

    More on training

    Ben Rosenblatt led the early fitness and football drills in the blazing heat, with assistant boss Steve Holland adding the off command, reports SunSport's Dan King in Al Wakrah.

    Rosenblatt is the FA's lead men's physical performance coach.

    It will be interesting to find out later why England are training in these conditions when none of their group games will be played at this time of day.

    The parent in you worries whether the paler-skinned players like Declan Rice have enough sun cream on

  • Kostas Lianos

    England feel the heat

    England are currently training under sweltering heat in Qatar ahead of their World Cup opener, reports SunSport's Charlie Wyett from Qatar.

    The temperature has reached a whopping 33C as the Three Lions prepare for the tournament.

    Tottenham ace Eric Dieris the first player out for training here the Al Wakrah Sports Club.

    It is absolutely baking and although there is a slight sea breeze the heat is still tough.

    The players are wearing vests rather than shirts

  • Kostas Lianos

    More on Maddison

    Leicester star James Maddison is missing out on full training today due to 'load management ' according to an FA spokesman, reports SunSport's David Kidd from Qatar.

    Maddison was substituted in the first half of Saturday's win at West Ham as a precautionary measure after a minor knee problem.

    The other 25 members of Gareth Southgate's squad are all now training at their Al Wakrah base ahead of Monday's opener against Iran

    Credit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
  • Kostas Lianos

    More on England training

    England star worked up a sweat in blistering 33C heat as they trained ahead of their World Cup opener.

    But James Maddison did not join in the full session as he manages the workload on his knee, as per SunSport's Joshua Jones.

    The Leicester ace was subbed off in the first half of Saturday's 2-0 win at West Ham as a precaution and the FA confirmed he did not join his team-mates at the start of Wednesday lunchtime's session.

    The remaining 25 players in Gareth Southgate's squad were on the pitch in the sweltering early afternoon temperatures at the Al Wakrah SC Stadium.

    And it was no surprise to see the squad desperately taking on board fluids as many opted for sleeveless vests to try and keep cool.

    Kyle Walker ruled himself out of Monday's Group B clash with Iran – which kicks off at 4pm local time.

    But the Manchester City defender again joined his team-mates as they went through their paces under the watchful eyes of Southgate, assistant Steve Holland and the rest of the coaches

  • Kostas Lianos

    Big USA tour

    USA are spending this afternoon visiting two of the three stadiums they will be playing at in the group stages, reports SunSport's Jordan Davies from Qatar.

    First up is the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, where the Yanks will be facing Wales on Monday in their group B opener, before heading over to the Al Bayt Stadium, the venue for their key clash with England next Friday.

    All three of USA’s group games are at 10pm local time, with several players – including Christian Pulisic – already admitting their sleep pattern is going to be affected as a result.

    Pulisic said: “Playing an international game that late is crazy. It is weird and strange, but it is good in terms of the temperature”

  • Kostas Lianos

    Kyle Walker out

    Manchester City star Kyle Walker has ruled himself OUT of England's World Cup opener against Iran.

    Gareth Southgate selected Walker in his 26-man squad for Qatar, despite him having not played for his club since October 2.

    The 32-year-old gave his manager a boost by taking part in the Three Lions' recent training session.

    The full-back took part in a session at the Al Wakrah SC Stadium – where temperatures reached 32C on Wednesday.

    But the opener vs Iran on Monday will come too soon for the England international, according to Sky Sports.

    But Walker claims that he will "raring to go" for their next matches

    Credit: Getty
  • Nick Emms

    Portugal to play World Cup warm-up after Cristiano Ronaldo controversy

    Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal side are in action for the first time since his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.

    The forward has been heavily critical of Manchester United and it made for awkward viewing when linking up with teammate Bruno Fernandes on international duty.

    However, he did praise Diogo Dalot and the pair have been pictured together since.

    And now the trio will be in action for Portugal ahead of the World Cup, facing Nigeria tonight in one final warm-up game.

  • Nick Emms

    Spain play final friendly

    Luis Enrique's side take to centre stage tonight when they face Jordan in their final match ahead of the World Cup.

    With the tournament starting on Sunday, the Spaniards will be hoping for a good performance going into the competition.

    With Argentina putting a strong line-up out against the UAE yesterday, Enrique could look to do the same.

    We have all the information and live updates from Jordan ahead of the clash.

  • Jack Figg

    Good morning football fans

    Kyle Walker has ruled himself OUT of England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

    Gareth Southgate selected the Manchester City star in his 26-man squad for Qatar, despite him having not played for his club since October 2.

    Walker, 32, gave his manager a boost by taking part in England training today.

    The defender took part in a session at the Al Wakrah SC Stadium – where temperatures reached 32C on Wednesday.

    But the opener vs Iran next Monday will come too soon for the full-back, according to Sky Sports.

    Walker himself claims, however, that he will “raring to go” for their next matches.

    The Three Lions take on the USA on Friday, 25 November, before a Battle of Britain tussle with Wales on Tuesday, 29 November.

    Meanwhile, Ivan Toney has been charged with 232 breaches of FA betting rules.

    The news comes just days after the Brentford striker missed out on Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England World Cup squad.

    In a statement, the FA confirmed: “Ivan Toney has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breached of the FA’s betting rules.

    “It is alleged that the Brentford FC forward breached FA Rule E8 232 times between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021.

    “Ivan Toney has until Thursday 24 November 2022 to provide a response.”

  • Dylan Terry

    Van Gaal confuses fans with squad numbers

    Louis van Gaal has claimed Holland's World Cup squad numbers have been assigned by age.

    But a closer look at the squad shows a random allocation with no method to the madness.

    Ajax's 39-year-old goalkeeper Remko Pasveer is the oldest player in the squad and he takes the number one jersey.

    But Jurrien Timber, 21, is number two and only one midfielder takes one of the first eleven numbers – Steven Berghuis.

    Senior players such as Denzel Dumfries and Daley Blind are numbered 22 and 17 respectively.

    While Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong takes his favoured number 21 shirt – the number he has worn his entire career.

  • Dylan Terry

    More from Hoddle

    Glenn Hoddle also went on to praise James Maddison's inclusion, but preached caution when it comes to Kalvin Phillips.

    He said: "I'm glad to see Maddison's in — he's in great form and I would like to see him start.

    "I think he's that good and he hasn't been given a chance yet with England, and he and Foden would be something special.

    "The one doubt I have — not because of his ability because I quite like him and he had a really good Euros — is Kalvin Phillips.

    "Shoulder injuries are very difficult ones to know whether they're absolutely okay."

    Credit: Getty
  • Dylan Terry

    Hoddle predicts Southgate will drop Maguire

    Former England boss Glenn Hoddle has predicted that Harry Maguire will be dropped for England's opening game in Qatar.

    Hoddle told the Mail: "I can understand why he's put Maguire in [the squad].

    "I don't think Maguire will start, but he might if Southgate wants to go into a three [at the back]. I can see Southgate using him, if needs be, later in the tournament.

    "Maguire would love to start the game against Iran but if he was thrown in, there'd be little doubt in the back of his mind."

  • Dylan Terry

    Garnacho to still make Argentina squad?

    Manchester United fans have all said the same thing as Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni hinted additional changes may be made to his squad.

    Alejandro Garnacho has been hailed as the Red Devils' saviour in recent weeks.

    The 18-year-old scored a stoppage-time winner in the 2-1 victory over Fulham last weekend.

    And now fans of the Old Trafford club think that he should get a look in on the world stage in Qatar.

    Scaloni revealed: "There’s a possibility that our 26-man list for the World Cup could change. Let’s see.

    "There are players who are not 100% well. We want to be cautious. We want to see their evolution."

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