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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

England handed major boost ahead of Slovenia clash –

Luke Shaw has returned to full England training one day before they face Slovenia in their final group stage match of Euro 2024.

The Three Lions need to win on Tuesday to cement their place as the winners of Group C having taken four points from their opening two games.

England’s Euro 2024 performances so far have come in for intense criticism, as has head coach Gareth Southgate’s planning for the tournament.

After a dismal 1-1 draw with Denmark last Thursday, Southgate’s negative tactics and decision to call up Shaw, who hasn’t played since February due to injury, were called into question. However, Southgate’s plan to reintegrate Shaw for England’s third game of Euro 2024 appears to be on track after he made his long-awaited return to training on Monday.

There had been further worry of Shaw’s status after he continued training alone in the aftermath of the Denmark draw, but he is now in contention to play once again.

Trippier has filled in for Shaw but too has been battling with a muscle injury / Kevin Voigt/GettyImages

In Shaw’s place, Kieran Trippier has been selected at left-back for England, though he is naturally right-footed and has not provided width when joining in attacks. Trippier is also nursing a calf strain sustained in the stalemate with Denmark, though he joined Shaw in full training on Monday.

Shaw is the only left-footed defender in Southgate’s final 26-player squad. Fellow leftie Jarrad Branthwaite was cut from the provisional list, though he is primarily a centre-back anyway. Ben Chilwell, who has been capped 21 times by England, did not receive a call-up following a poor season at club level with Chelsea.

England’s other options at left-back are Joe Gomez and Ezri Konsa, but they are naturally right-footed centre-backs.

Shaw’s last competitive minutes of football came for Manchester United in their 2-1 win at Luton Town back in February. He played the first half of their eventual victory at Kenilworth Road before suffering a recurrence of a muscle problem and had to be substituted.

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