Southgate sweats on Jude as he joins walking wounded
JUDE BELLINGHAM leads a cast of injury doubts ahead of England’s final two Euro 2024 qualifiers with Real Madrid saying he will miss the next two weeks with a shoulder injury. Head coach Gareth Southgate is bracing himself for a host of withdrawals before Friday’s clash against Malta at Wembley and next Monday’s game in North Macedonia. Real Madrid star Bellingham is the most high-profile, having missed Saturday’s 5-1 thrashing of Valencia in La Liga. The 20-year-old has set Spain alight this season with 13 goals in 14 games since joining Real for £113m. Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is also expected to pull out with a hamstring injury, while Brighton centre back Lewis Dunk is carrying a groin problem that caused him to miss yesterday’s draw against Sheffield United. Levi Colwill is hopeful of being passed fit after missing Chelsea’s pulsating 4-4 draw with Manchester City yesterday with a shoulder socket problem, while his Blues team-mate Conor Gallagher received lengthy treatment on an ankle injury but finished the game. Tottenham’s James Maddison has already withdrawn from the squad after suffering a long-term ankle injury in last Monday’s defeat against Chelsea. Eddie Nketiah, Anthony Gordon, Eberechi Eze, Cole Palmer and Jarrad Branthwaite are among the players on Southgate’s radar if he chooses to draft in any replacements for the injury withdrawals. Experienced duo Raheem Sterling and James Ward-Prowse, who are both in excellent form for their clubs, will also be hoping for a call-up. Elsewhere in Europe, England captain Harry Kane set a new Bundesliga record with 17 goals in his first 11 games after a first-half brace in Bayern Munich’s 4-2 win over Heidenheim. Bayer Leverkusen remain top with 10 wins and a draw. In Spain, Robert Lewandowski’s double led Barcelona to a 2-1 win over Alaves, having gone behind in the first minute.