Man United's Marcus Rashford the only absentee as England train ahead of Czech game

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Marcus Rashford was the only absentee from England training a day out from their opening Euro 2020 qualifier against the Czech Republic.

The Manchester United striker is nursing an ankle injury that leaves him a slight concern for the visit of the Czechs to Wembley on Friday night.

Rashford, capped 31 times by his country, with six goals, had an individual session indoors at St George’s Park as he bids to prove his fitness.

The 21-year-old has become an integral part of Gareth Southgate’s line-up, scoring three times in his last six international appearances.

England’s official Twitter account posted: “21 players are taking part in today’s session, with @MarcusRashford working separately to the main group.”

He is the latest injury headache for Southgate, who has already had five players withdraw from the squad for the Group A double header against the Czechs and Montenegro.

On Wednesday, Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled out because of a back complaint, with Fabian Delph, John Stones, Luke Shaw and Ruben Loftus-Cheek already ruled out.

Promising Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi has been brought in despite having not yet made a league start, with Southgate also turning to in-form Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

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Germany fans pay tribute to axed Bayern Munich trio during friendly

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Germany fans paid tribute to Hummels, Muller, and Boateng.

Germany fans paid tribute to Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller, and Jerome Boateng on Wednesday during the national team’s friendly with Serbia after the Bayern Munich trio were axed ahead of the latest round of international fixtures.

Following Germany’s dismal World Cup campaign last summer, when they entered the tournament as reigning champions but suffered a shock group-stage exit, and then poor results in the UEFA Nations League last autumn, head coach Joachim Low took the decision to bring through younger players into the national team ahead of the Euro 2020 qualification campaign.

As part of the change in approach, Low told the veteran trio, who had been national team stalwarts since before the 2014 World Cup triumph, that they would no longer be considered for selection.

Muller, 29, and Boateng, 30, have both played in three World Cups for Germany, making their debuts in 2010 when Germany finished as the third-placed team, while 30-year-old Hummels appeared in two tournaments.

Wednesday’s friendly was the first game Germany were playing since the three players were informed by Low of his decision, and given their distinguished service the fans in attendance put together a moving tribute.

At the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, fans at one entire end of the stadium displayed a message that said “Danke, 5-13-17”, a thank you followed by the three players’ kit numbers for the national team.

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Real Madrid star Gareth Bale too big a risk in Wales friendly, says boss Ryan Giggs after win

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Wales won a close-fought game with Trinidad & Tobago.

Ryan Giggs explained he had no choice but to disappoint Wales fans by leaving Gareth Bale out of the side that beat Trinidad & Tobago at Wrexham.

Wales had not played at the Racecourse Ground since 2008 and much had been made of the national team’s return to the north for the first time for 11 years.

But Real Madrid striker Bale was among those missing as manager Giggs fielded a shadow side just four days before Wales’ opening European Championship qualifier against Slovakia in Cardiff.

“Gareth got his first 90 minutes in three months and took part in a little bit of training on Monday,” Giggs said after 19-year-old Ben Woodburn’s stoppage-time strike gave Wales a 1-0 win over the Soca Warriors.

“He trained this morning really well, but it was just too much of a risk with Sunday in mind. That was the case with a few of the players.

“We have the advantage in this first game. Slovakia play Thursday then Sunday, it’s a two-and-a-half-day turnaround.

“I wanted to make sure that we made that advantage count this week, both physically and mentally.

“Of course it’s disappointing for the fans. They want to see the likes of Gareth, but it’s my job to make sure we are ready for Sunday.”

George Thomas went close with a stinging second-half shot and saw his header midway through the second half ruled out for offside.

But Wales had made little headway until Liverpool teenager Woodburn sent the 10,326-capacity crowd home happy with his second international goal, chesting home debutant Will Vaulks’ cross from a few inches out.

“The performance, first half especially, I was really pleased with,” said Giggs, whose side had been upset in their previous game by Albania.

“We had a couple of days to work on a few things and felt we did that first half without that final-third composure, making the right decisions and having a bit of quality.

“I was pleased with the first half. Trinidad and Tobago didn’t have anything.

“But I reminded the players at half-time about Albania. It was exactly the same in Albania, so we had to keep that clean sheet.

“We rode our luck a bit in the second half, Trinidad and Tobago made it difficult for us. We just had to be patient.”

Trinidad & Tobago manager Dennis Lawrence felt his side were unfortunate to lose.

“We were very unlucky, I don’t think the boys deserved that,” Lawrence said.

“It was a good workout for us, but they were very comfortable on the ball.

“I was a bit surprised Gareth didn’t play.

“I thought they would have wanted the fans to get the opportunity to see him, but they made the decision that was best for Wales and for Gareth.”

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

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