Tuesday, June 18, 2024

England omitting Grealish and Rashford ´good news´ for Serbia, says Matic

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Jun 2024

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Nemanja Matic believes Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford’s omission from England’s Euro 2024 squad can only be good news for Serbia.

Gareth Southgate confirmed his 26-man squad for the upcoming tournament in Germany on Thursday, with a number of high-profile names set to watch the Three Lions’ bid for a first international trophy in 58 years from home.

From the preliminary squad, James Trafford, Jarrad Branthwaite, Jarell Quansah, Harry Maguire, Curtis Jones, James Maddison and Grealish have all been dropped ahead of the Three Lions’ final friendly fixture against Iceland.

Manchester United forward Rashford was not included in the initial 33-man party, having managed just seven league goals for Erik ten Hag’s side this season.

He will miss his first international tournament since he was first called up to the senior England team in 2016.

Matic, who retired from international football with Serbia in 2020, believes the absence of his former United team-mate – as well as that of Grealish – will only benefit his nation when they face England in their Group C opener in Gelsenkirchen on June 16.

The former two-time Premier League winner wrote on X: “I would always like to have players like Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish in the team, players who can decide the game with one move! Not selected, good news for us.”

Grealish has made 10 appearances in the last two major tournaments, nine of which came from the bench as he was deployed in the role of an impact player.

All 36 of his England caps have come under Southgate, but a stop-start campaign with Manchester City saw the 28-year-old limited to 20 league appearances in 2023-24, after he provided five goals and seven assists as City won the treble in 2022-23.

Despite helping his side lift the FA Cup for a 13th time last month, Rashford was unable to replicate the form that saw him score 30 goals in all competitions during the 2022-23 campaign, meaning he will not be able to add to his 17 England goals in Germany.

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