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England Under-21s star Harvey Elliott ruled out of Czech clash due to Covid
The Liverpool midfielder will not travel to Ceske Budejovice for Friday’s crunch qualifier.
Harvey Elliott has pulled out of England Under-21s’ crunch qualifier with Czech Republic after testing positive for Covid.
The Liverpool midfielder, who only joined the squad on Tuesday, has now returned home and will miss Friday’s Euro 2023 qualifier in Ceske Budejovice.
Tottenham’s Ryan Sessegnon has already withdrawn with a back problem while Chelsea’s Levi Colwill, who spent last season on loan at Huddersfield, is also out with a hip injury.
“Harvey has Covid but we’re hoping he joins up with us later on,” said Young Lions boss Lee Carsley.
“He came in here, had his dinner and woke up the next day with a sore throat and a headache.
“Sess has played a lot of minutes and was managing a back complaint. Levi misses out completely with his hip.”
England Under-21s are three points behind Group G leaders Czech Republic with two games in hand.
They beat them 3-1 in Burnley in November and also face Albania, Kosovo and Slovenia in their final group games this month.
Carsley said: “When you’re doing the welcome meeting and putting up the league table, it’s almost as if the players go, ‘woah, we’re back here and we’re second’.
“It’s game on. That’s the challenge. If you go up to the seniors, you’re going to get games like this.
“I’ve told them this is just a stop, not their final destination.
“They are physical, we noticed that in the first game. The scoreline maybe flattered us a little bit, we were good in patches and I will expect us to have to play a lot better to beat them.
“I thought the build up to the Czech Republic (in November) was good, the focus of the lads was excellent. There was a different intensity then and I’ve noticed it in this camp as well.
“This one has been challenging, some have been on holiday, some have just finished, some have had more time off than others. They are in all different stages.”