World Cup qualifiers: Chris Smalling pulls out of England squad with injury, uncapped Ben Gibson drafted in

London: Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is injured and will play no part in England's World Cup qualifier with Lithuania this weekend, the Football Association said on Friday.

In his place, Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson got his first senior England call-up for Sunday's match at Wembley.

Chris Smalling England 380

Chris Smalling forced out of England squad after picking up injury in training. Getty Images

Smalling's exit, however, compounds England manager Gareth Southgate's defensive worries, with Chelsea's Gary Cahill, the captain in Wednesday's 1-0 friendly international defeat by Germany in Dortmund, suspended.

Phil Jones had already pulled out on the eve of the friendly with a toe injury he suffered in a training ground challenge with United team-mate Smalling.

Southgate knows the 24-year-old Gibson well, having repeatedly selected him when the manager of the England Under-21 side.

England trained in Hertfordshire, north-west of London, on Friday and Gibson will join the squad in time for Saturday's session at capital club Tottenham Hotspur's training ground, where Southgate will hold a pre-match media conference.


Published Date: Mar 24, 2017 10:13 pm | Updated Date: Mar 24, 2017 10:13 pm


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