Roy Hodgson faces a big risk as England boss later, if he starts Daniel Sturridge against San Marino.
It’s a risk because he’s carrying a thigh problem, which has plagued him for most of this year. The Liverpool forward will face a fitness test on the injury and Brendan Rodgers will more than likely be hoping he’s confined to the bench.
Liverpool need all of their first choice players fully fit over the rest of the season, if they are to have any hope of securing Champions League football for the next campaign.
If England have any doubts over Sturridge but play him regardless, it could make his thigh problem much worse, which may force him out of Liverpool’s season or reduce the number of games he can play in.
You’ll be hard pushed to find many Liverpool fans who won’t admit that Sturridge has had a very big impact since he joined the club from Chelsea, providing Luis Suarez with the support he’s been missing for most of the season.
He’s also looked like a player with a point to prove and that deep determination is something he may still feel and it’s something which gives him an advantage over other Liverpool squad members.
Hodgson is in a difficult position because Sturridge is a young man, full of energy and enthusiasm who will want to play in any match he can for England.
However, if he selects him, he gets injured and there are knock on effects for Liverpool, he quickly finds himself in an awkward situation because Liverpool do have some power in terms of which of their players can attend international duty.
It’s a shame it’s like that in the modern game, but that’s how it is and all of the other top sides in England and across Europe, regularly withdraw players from friendly squads for the most remote of injury reasons.
The fact he faces a fitness test before the match is telling because it proves England are not completely sure over his fitness and they are taking a risk if he starts alongside another forward.
Fortunately for this match, Hodgson can afford to hedge his bets because San Marino are not a side that should cause England any trouble and the only way Sturridge can get injured is through his own over willingness or a diabolical challenge from one of the San Marino players.
Liverpool fans, are you nervous about him playing with an injury?
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