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Major blow for England ahead of Wales clash as Arsenal star misses training

Rory O'Callaghan

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Major blow for England ahead of Wales clash as Arsenal star misses training

England have suffered a blow ahead of their crucial World Cup clash with Wales, with Ben White missing training on the eve of the match through illness.

White, 25, has been in exceptional form for Premier League leaders Arsenal this season.

He has made 19 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions, making the right-back position his own under Mikel Arteta.

Despite his impressive club form, White is yet to feature for England at Qatar 2022.

However, he remains a key player for the Three Lions, providing cover at both right-back and centre-back.

White misses England training through illness

White is arguably England's third-choice central defender behind Harry Maguire and John Stones.

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But he could be unavailable for Tuesday's match against Wales after missing training at the Al Wakrah Sports Complex because of illness.

It remains to be seen whether he will have recovered in time to feature in England's final group game.

Southgate's side are currently top of Group B, having beaten Iran and drawn with the United States in their opening two matches.

England need to beat Wales to guarantee themselves top spot in the group, and could still be eliminated from the competition if lose by four or more goals and other results go against them.

Maddison returns for England

The Three Lions are boosted by the return of Leicester's James Maddison, who resumed full training on Saturday after recovering from a knee injury.

Many fans have called for Southgate to adopt an attacking approach against Wales and play Phil Foden, and the England boss has suggested the Manchester City star could feature on Tuesday.

"We love Phil, he is a super player. He was into the first game, we decided not to put him into the second. But he is going to play an important part in this tournament for us, there is no question about that," Southgate told ITV after the draw with the USA.

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"We haven't got any issue with Phil. In September he started both games for us and we put him into the game v Iran. We decided to stick with that team and we felt the changes required something a little different for the USA.

"But we are intending to be here as long as we can. And he is a super player and we think the world of him. And he is going to play a big part.

"He can play off either wing. He can play as a false nine. He can play behind a striker, he doesn't do that as often for his club. He works hard for the team and of course he has fabulous technical ability."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Arsenal, England, Football World Cup, Wales, Ben White, Football

Rory O'Callaghan
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