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.
Socceroos Spotlight: Luongo, Behich take staggering stats into Norway friendly
Bert van Marwijk will be blessed with the arrival of several in-form stars as his squad assembles in Oslo for the first of two friendlies. AFC Asian Cup winners Massimo Luongo and Aziz Behich are among those at the peak of their powers for the new Caltex Socceroos' coach's fir
Risdon driven by World Cup ambition amid 'competitive' Caltex Socceroos camp
Caltex Socceroos right-back Josh Risdon is braced for an intense training standard as he seeks to realise his boyhood dream of FIFA World Cup selection. Risdon is in contention to add to his five international caps when Australia take on Norway in Oslo on Saturday morning (AED
Fit and firing Behich sets sights on twin Caltex Socceroos wins
Caltex Socceroos full-back Aziz Behich is taking career-best form into what he hopes will be back-to-back wins at the beginning of Bert van Marwijk's tenure. Australia's 26-man squad have assembled in Oslo ahead of Van Marwijk's first match in charge against Norway on Saturday
Norway v Caltex Socceroos: 4 key match ups
Bert van Marwijk’s first match in charge as Caltex Socceroos boss sees his side take on tricky European outfit Norway at the Ullevaal Stadion on Saturday, March 24 (AEDT). With a chance for his players to stake a claim for a spot on the plane to Russia in June, it’s an importa