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John Stones missing from England training ahead of Euro 2024 opener

John Stones was missing from England training ahead of the Three Lions' Euro 2024 opener.

John Stones of England

England defender John Stones was absent from training on Wednesday ahead of the Three Lions’ opening match of Euro 2024.

Gareth Southgate’s men take on Serbia on Sunday in what has been deemed a ‘high-risk’ match by authorities.

25 of the 26 squad players were seen in training at England’s camp in Germany, with the Manchester City man the only figure missing.

It is believed the 30-year-old was missing due to illness and it is not injury related.

Southgate has kept his plans for England’s defence under wraps after Harry Maguire was left out of the squad and Luke Shaw’s fitness remains unknown.

But Stones, alongside Kyle Walker, are believed to be the two players who are expected to sure things up at the back during the tournament.

At an open training session at Weimarar Land Spa and Golf Resort, a large group of schoolchildren were invited to watch the Three Lions – minus Stones – put through their paces.

Southgate will be hoping his men can get off to a winning start against Serbia but there are concerns over the safety of spectators ahead of the match.

Managing director of Euro 2024 Andreas Schaer said to BBC Sport: “The authorities rated that match from the start as high-risk.

“Serbia’s not been in the tournament for some time so there was some unknown factors – how are the two fan groups going to react?

“That is an open question. We as organisers are not that much concerned as our records do not show that there is a high risk of clashes, but of course the match has a bit of potential, if we’re not taking care, that it could escalate.”

Following their match against Serbia, England will face Denmark and then Slovenia.

Even if John Stones does miss the first match of the tournament, he should make it back for the clash against the Danes on 20 June.

 

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Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.

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