Gareth Southgate believes Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford’s dedication will allow them to win their Euro 2020 fitness race for England.
Three Lions boss Southgate suffered a double injury blow at the start of the year, as first Tottenham striker Kane ruptured his hamstring tendon on New Year’s Day before Manchester United forward Rashford suffered a stress fracture later in January.
Both will be cutting it fine in terms of recovery time for the tournament, but Southgate is confident they are on track to feature.
“We’ve had really good updates right the way through and Harry and Marcus are exactly where we were expecting them to be,” the England manager said.
“Both players will give themselves the best possible chance of being available, that’s their mentality and that’s their dedication to their sport.
“That’s the only bit we can guarantee, what we can’t guarantee is how that rehab will develop as it’s stepped up and as it becomes more intense, but they are both on track from the information we were given at the very start.”
The draw for the 2020-21 Nations League draw reunited the Three Lions with Belgium, who beat them twice at the 2018 World Cup.
England also face Iceland for the first time since being knocked out by them at Euro 2016, a match which proved to be the end of the road for Roy Hodgson. Their other group opponents, Denmark, are due to play England in a friendly at Wembley on March 31.
Wales and the Republic of Ireland were drawn together, just as in the 2018-19 Nations League, with Finland and Bulgaria completing Group B4.
Scotland, whose coach Steve Clarke did not attend as it was deemed an unnecessary risk amid the coronavirus outbreak, will play Israel, who they also face in a Euro 2020 play-off semi-final later this month. The Czech Republic and Slovakia complete the group.
Northern Ireland will face Austria, Norway and Romania in Group B1.
The matches will be played between September and November of this year, with the finals taking place in June 2021.