England striker Daniel Sturridge is set to miss Saturday’s (AEST) clash with the Caltex Socceroos due to a calf injury suffered in last week’s Europa League final.
The Liverpool star missed training on Wednesday and is almost certain not to be risked for the game with Australia at the Stadium of Light.
With England boss Roy Hodgson needing to choose his final 23-man squad for the Euros after the Socceroos clash, Sturridge’s availability for the tournament must also be in doubt.
The 26-year-old striker – who scored for the Reds in the 3-1 Europa League defeat to Sevilla – has battled injury all season and played only 25 games for the campaign.
Sturridge’s injury strengthens the case for Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford to start against Ange Postecoglou’s men in what would be his international debut.
The 18-year-old only broke into the Red Devils side in February and burst onto the scene with eight goals in just 18 appearances.
Rashford was a shock inclusion in Hodgson’s extended 26-man squad for the Euros but now a big performance against Australia could see him book his ticket to France.
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill also missed Wednesday’s session meaning he could also miss the friendly in Sunderland, while Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has been given time off to get married.