England set to be without Mount and Chilwell vs Czech Republic as Southgate faces changes

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England manager Gareth Southgate conceded there is a “high possibility” the Chelsea pair will have to sit out the Wembley showdown after they were listed by the FA as possible close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour who has tested positive.

Mount, who has played every minute of England’s two games at the tournament, and Chilwell, who has yet to feature, have both tested negative but spent time with their Chelsea team-mate in the tunnel after Friday’s 0-0 draw.

They are self-isolating as a precaution while they await a final decision by Public Health England over whether their exposure was sufficient for them to be required to continue to do so.

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“We’ve got to follow the guidelines and if there is any risk with these two players then we’ve got to make sure we don’t put any other players at risk. But the ins and outs of what would classify as being contact – they are the discussions that are ongoing,” said Southgate.

“In terms of the team, we’ll need to go through details with the players in the morning really, so we’ll have to know by first thing of their availability and if not we’ll just have to play on without them.

“I can’t say it isn’t disruptive. We don’t really know at this point whether they might be OK for tomorrow, or they could be out for 10 days.”

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Gilmour, who has no symptoms, will miss Scotland’s game against Croatia and their last-16 tie if they progress as he self-isolates for 10 days. No other Scotland player has been required to sit out the game.

Mount and Chilwell should be able to return to training on Thursday even if they are deemed close contacts – as long as they continue to pass daily tests.

Against Czech Republic, Jack Grealish and Jude Bellingham will be among the candidates to replace Mount while either Kieran Trippier or Luke Shaw will start at left-back.

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Neil Squires comment

It used to be the penalty shoot-out lottery that did for England at major tournaments, now it is the coronavirus lottery they have to contend with.

The viral finger of fate was always going to point at one team or another in a Covid era Euros and it probably should come as no surprise that one of them is England.

Gareth Southgate manages one of the few international teams to go all season without a positive test. His side’s number was bound to come up at some point. It just had to be at the Euros themselves though, didn’t it?

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He will have wargamed this scenario and he took a sanguine take on the situation last night but it remains an unwanted complication.

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