Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Maguire declares himself fit for England´s Euro 2020 clash with Scotland

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Jun 2021

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Harry Maguire has declared himself fit to play in the Euro 2020 clash between England and Scotland at Wembley on Friday.

The Manchester United captain has been sidelined since suffering ankle ligament damage on May 9 in the Red Devils’ 3-1 Premier League win at Aston Villa.

Maguire was hurt after falling awkwardly beneath Anwar El Ghazi. He sat out United’s final five games of the season, including the Europa League final, which ended in defeat on penalties to Villarreal.

The centre-back was not ready to feature in England’s warm-up games with Austria and Lithuania or the 1-0 win over Croatia last Sunday, in which Tyrone Mings partnered John Stones at the heart of Gareth Southgate’s defence.

Speaking on Wednesday, Maguire said: “I feel good. I’m back available, I’ve been training and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve done a few sessions now and I feel like my fitness is there.”

Confirming he was “available to the manager for selection,” for the Scotland game, Maguire added: “I’m here as a player but also as a fan so I fully understand my position in the camp. Whatever happens, I want England to win – that’s my main focus.”

Maguire felt buoyed by Southgate’s decision to include him in England’s 26-man squad despite knowing he would miss at least the opening group game with Croatia.

“Gareth has shown great faith in me and that’s not just in this camp, it’s since I made my debut,” he said. “I know Gareth trusts me and it gives me great confidence to come here and try and do as much as I can for him and, most importantly, for the country.

“I knew it was a pretty serious injury because it didn’t come from impact or contact. I knew it was a twist straight away so there would be some sort of ligament damage in there. Obviously, you fear the worst but I’m here now and ready to go.

“I haven’t had an ankle injury before but, from speaking to players and physios, I’m sure it will be niggling. As long as it’s stable and the pain is bearable then I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

SOUTHGATE’S ROCK

Maguire played in all eight of England’s games for Euro 2020 qualifying, more than any other defender, helping the Three Lions to keep five clean sheets in those matches.

The former Leicester City man averaged 2.75 successful aerials and 1.6 interceptions per 90 minutes, the most among defenders.

He also completed by far the most passes (672) and most long passes (38) in those eight matches, as England finished top of Group A with seven wins from eight games.

In total, England have won 62.5 per cent of the 32 senior games Maguire has played, keeping 16 clean sheets and conceding 23 goals.

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