Despite missing Liverpool’s game against Fulham on Sunday after he made an early exit mid-week in the Champions League against Bayern Munich, Jordan Henderson hasn’t been ruled out for England and is still expected to join up with the national team.
“It’s Hendo and Hendo will go to the national team,” said Jürgen Klopp when asked about his captain. “I think he will have two or three days at Melwood with his rehab. But it looks positive, and I think he is in contact with Gareth that when he can train, he goes.”
That means that Henderson is unlikely to play a role for England against the Czech Republic on Friday, and Gareth Southgate has called up James Ward-Prowse to cover for that, but an appearance against Montenegro on Monday may still be on the cards.
Rather confusingly, after taking part in UEFA’s new Nations League in the autumn, England’s next two games are their first proper qualifiers for Euro 2020. But the Nations League, which they have advanced in, also provides a path to Euro 2020 qualification.
On the Nations League side, England were put into League A with the 12 strongest UEFA countries by coefficient. There, they have advanced to the playoffs along with Portugal, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The winner gets a spot at Euro 2020.
Those playoffs will take place in June—along with the playoffs for League B, C, and D which contain UEFA’s lower ranked sides, all of whom can win a Euro 2020 place by winning their League playoff. Meanwhile, the traditional qualifying path will commence.
There, England can qualify by finishing top two in their group—Group A with the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Kosovo. It’s a group England should advance from easily, with first opponents the Czechs on paper their toughest opponents.
“If he plays, then Gareth will decide,” Klopp added. “It was not that serious. Now in three or four days he should be fine.”