Why Bukayo Saka could miss England’s friendly with Switzerland

Bukayo Saka is a potential doubt to be named in the starting XI for England’s clash with Switzerland on Saturday 26th March at Wembley.

This comes as it has been reported that the Arsenal star has been suffering from illness (though nothing suggests that it is covid-related) at the team hotel at St George’s Park.

Saka has been a shining light for Mikel Arteta this season, with the youngster spearheading the Gunners’ charge for a top 4 spot and a return of Champions League football to the Emirates Stadium come September.

His strike against Villa, the only goal of the game, took his tally for the season to 9, while the 20-year-old has also provided 5 assists from the right flank. Alongside compatriot Emile Smith Rowe and Brazilian prodigy Gabriel Martinelli, Saka has been a key player on the flanks for Arsenal this campaign, keeping record signing Nicolas Pepe out of the side.

To start for England?

Saka enjoyed a fruitful Euro 2020 that was overshadowed by his penalty miss in the final that ultimately saw the trophy head to Italy rather than to England. Heading into the tournament a doubt even to make the final 26 man squad, the then 19 year old appeared 4 times on England’s right flank, and seemed to earn the trust of Gareth Southgate very quickly.

Why Bukayo Saka could miss England's friendly with Switzerland

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 19: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park on March 19, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

The Londoner has already won 14 caps for his country, and seems a certainty to head to the World Cup in November provided he stays injury-free. His starting berth is far from assured, however, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Jarrod Bowen and Jadon Sancho all in the mix too for a position in Southgate’s front three.

This Saturday could well give someone else a chance to shine.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 29 50 70
2 Liverpool FC 29 55 69
3 Chelsea FC 28 38 59
4 Arsenal FC 28 13 54
5 Tottenham Hotspur 29 11 51
6 Manchester United 29 8 50
7 West Ham United 30 10 48
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 30 5 46
9 Aston Villa 29 1 36
10 Leicester City 27 -4 36
11 Southampton FC 29 -9 35
12 Crystal Palace 29 1 34
13 Brighton & Hove Albion 29 -10 33
14 Newcastle United 29 -17 31
15th Brentford FC 30 -14 30
16 Leeds United 30 -33 29
17 Everton FC 27 -18 25
18 Watford FC 29 -26 22
19 Burnley FC 27 -16 21
20 Norwich City 29 -45 17
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 20
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 13
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 13
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 12
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 12
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 12
Tony, Ivan Brentford FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 10
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 9
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 9
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 9
Rafinha Leeds United 9
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 9
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 8
Antonio, Michael West Ham United 8

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