Manuel Neuer and others out of Germany squad with Covid ahead of England clash

England have been handed a huge boost ahead of Monday's clash against Germany, as Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka have been ruled out with Covid.

Squads were announced last week ahead of the last batch of international fixtures before the World Cup later this year, with England set to take on Italy on Friday before rounding things up against Germany four days later. Wembley takes centre stage for England's last warm-up game before Qatar 2022, but their opponents have been weakened.

Hoffenheim's Oliver Baumann will replace keeper Neuer at short notice, while further call-ups are expected within the coming days. And even though Julian Brandt tested negative, he too has been withdrawn as a precaution.

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Lots of the talk this week may have been about Gareth Southgate's omissions from the latest England squad, but it's now the German camp that are in turmoil ahead of Monday's clash. Neuer has been the Germany no.1 for over a decade, and Goretzka also featured in the 2-0 defeat to England last summer.

There may be further implications for Germany in the coming days, but for now it's just the three stars that will have to wait for the World Cup to represent the national team once more. England haven't been without their own issues, as Manchester City star Kalvin Phillips was forced to withdraw through injury.

However, luckily for Southgate there was a ready made replacement as Jordan Henderson recovered from injury earlier than expected. The Liverpool midfielder instantly took Phillips' place, but after multiple injuries already this season it will leave Jurgen Klopp sweating back in Merseyside.

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Henderson was struggling with a hamstring problem, and didn't feature in Liverpool's last three matches. But Henderson will be keen to nail down his position ahead of the World Cup in just two months time, although he's a known favourite under Southgate.

England will be among the favourites to win the World Cup this winter after reaching the semi-final four years ago, and narrowly missing out on the European crown last summer. And in their run to the final of Euro 2022, they beat Germany in an international competition for the first time since 1966.

Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane scored in a 2-0 win at Wembley, and they'll be hoping for similar success in Monday's friendly. And they'll be looking to finally get one over Italy too, after suffering a heartbreaking defeat last summer.


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