Tottenham and Liverpool success hits England’s Nations League plans

• Champions League final players to miss bulk of England training
• Gareth Southgate’s team play five days after match in Madrid

Gareth Southgate faces conducting the bulk of England’s preparations for next month’s Nations League finals without up to nine players from Liverpool and Tottenham after they secured an unlikely passage to the Champions League final, with additional absentees from Chelsea and perhaps Arsenal.

The national manager will have to wait until the evening of Sunday 2 June to welcome to St George’s Park the hefty contingent involved in the showpiece at Atlético Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano. That will be almost two weeks after the first members of the squad gather, with arrivals staggered according to when players’ club campaigns finish.

Those involved in Madrid would not be available to train with their international teammates until the following day at the very earliest, subject to assessments being made by medical and technical staff.

Southgate, who names his squad for the two-game tournament in Portugal next Thursday, has expressed concerns over how players involved in an emotionally and physically draining Champions League final would be able to cope with England’s semi-final against the Netherlands five days later in Guimarães.

24 May 2000: Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia The first intra-national European Cup final in the competitions's 45-year history acted as the stage for Steve McManaman to write his name into Champions League folklore. The Englishman secured victory for Real in Paris with a stunning 67th-minute volley, with Fernando Morientes and Raúl scoring the others.

28 May 2003: Juventus 0-0 Milan (Milan won 3-2 on pens) Dripping in Italian defensive energy, 120 minutes of tough tackling and swinging elbows at Old Trafford yielded just eight shots on target and a whopping 57 fouls. The goalkeepers remained on top in the shootout with five of the first nine efforts saved before Andriy Shevchenko sealed Milan’s sixth European Cup.

21 May 2008: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (United won 6-5 on pens) Didier Drogba has spoken of his uneasiness at seeing Moscow adorned in United red before the final and that anxiety was vindicated on a pulsating night that saw Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Lampard trade goals before Drogba was sent off in extra-time. John Terry then slipped at the crucial moment.

25 May 2013: Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Bayern Munich Twelve months is an eternity in football and no one knows that better than Arjen Robben. In the 2012 final Robben was the scapegoat in defeat to Chelsea. A year later he cemented himself as a Bayern legend, scoring the last-minute winner after Ilkay Gündogan and Mario Mandzukic each struck in the second half at Wembley.

24 May 2014: Real Madrid 4-1 Atlético Madrid (aet) At 90 minutes Atlético looked to have triumphed against the odds to win a historic double. On 94 minutes Sergio Ramos wheeled away in celebration of a heartbreaking equaliser. By the time 120 minutes had elapsed in Lisbon Real had run riot en route to La Decima.

28 May 2016: Real Madrid 1-1 Atlético Madrid (Real won 5-3 on pens) If Cristiano Ronaldo was still searching for a crowning moment as king of Madrid then the fifth and final penalty in this shootout in Milan confirmed his coronation. Sergio Ramos and Yannick Carrasco scored in normal time before Juanfran hit the post with his spot-kick setting up Ronaldo's vintage moment. Benjy Nurick

“It is a little bit more complicated but firstly it is a brilliant achievement by the two clubs and by the two managers,” Southgate said. “In different ways, they have had phenomenal seasons against really difficult challenges.

“For our young English players it is great that they are playing in matches that really matter while under pressure and they are being really successful because that will help England in the long run.

“Although it makes our preparation a bit more complicated, that is a challenge that we have to deal with as a group of staff. We have got to adapt. We are always telling our players to adapt so we have got to do the same. We can still prepare the team for the game with Holland.

“We won’t have long before our matches but actually we are used to that as with our international weeks we only get two or three days’ preparation.”

The cluttered schedule will deny Southgate Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Dele Alli in the buildup to the finals in Portugal. The Spurs duo Harry Kane and Harry Winks, who are recovering from ankle ligament and groin injuries respectively, hope to be available for the final against Liverpool and, as a result, will also be in contention to join up with the national squad. “Rehab is going well,” said Kane. “I started straight-line running this week and I have to start training even harder to prove myself to the gaffer.”

Chelsea’s and Arsenal’s progress to the Europa League final in Baku on 29 May has further disrupted Southgate’s plans. He expects players whose seasons end this weekend with the culmination of the Premier League to link up at the national training centre in the week commencing 20 May. The contingent from Manchester City would be granted time after the FA Cup final, with the players involved in European finals last to join the group.

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Dominic Fifield

The GuardianTramp

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