Clubs worried about England stars picking up injuries on plastic pitch

Premier League clubs are worried about stars picking up injuries playing on a plastic surface in Andorra labelled the ‘worst pitch’ by Gareth Bale – handing Gareth Southgate selection headache

  • England face Andorra on Saturday on a plastic pitch which has raised concern
  • A number of Premier League clubs are worried about players picking up injuries 
  • Synthetic pitches are notorious for being more stressful on footballers’ joints  
  • Gareth Bale described the field as the ‘worst pitch’ he’d ever played on in 2014 

Premier League clubs are worried about their England stars playing on a plastic pitch in Andorra leaving Gareth Southgate facing a selection headache ahead of Saturday’s clash.

Sportsmail has learned that a number of top-flight teams are anxious about their players playing on the artificial pitch in Andorra, triggering concerns over an increased risk of injury.

Synthetic pitches are notorious for being more stressful on footballers joints with many believing the surface leaves players more susceptible to injury.

Gareth Southgate has been left with a selection headache ahead of England’s clash in Andorra

Premier League clubs are concerned about their players performing on the 3G pitch (above)

Southgate is likely to prioritise next Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Hungary at Wembley and could field a weaker team in Andorra this weekend, nevertheless clubs will be desperate for their stars to avoid injury on the 3G surface.

One of Southgate’s key decision will be whether to start with skipper Harry Kane in Andorra.

The Tottenham striker has a history of ankle problems, raising obvious concerns about his involvement on Saturday – though it is understood Kane is ready to play as he looks to chase down Wayne Rooney’s England all-time goalscoring record.

Southgate is likely to prioritise the Hungary fixture, and may opt against starting Harry Kane

Everton boss Rafa Benitez has also called on Southgate to rest Jordan Pickford against Andorra given the No1 goalkeeper has just recovered from a shoulder injury, describing the qualifier in Andorra as a ‘nothing’ game.

Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Ollie Watkins have all just recently returned from injury or have fitness concerns heading into the international fixtures.

In 2014, Gareth Bale described the Estadio Nacional – the ground England will play on Saturday – as the ‘worst pitch’ he’d ever played on after featuring for Wales in Andorra.

Gareth Bale described the Estadio Nacional as the ‘worst pitch’ he’d ever played on (pictured)

Aaron Ramsey said he hoped he’d never play on an artificial surface again after rolling his ankle in the same game.

England will arrive in Andorra on Thursday and will have the opportunity to train on the pitch on Friday ahead of the game.

Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips joined Reece James in withdrawing from the squad yesterday and was replaced by Southampton skipper James Ward-Prowse.




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