Date: 25th March 2023 at 4:34pm
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England will be looking to move a step closer to qualifying for next year’s European Championships when they face Ukraine at Wembley on Sunday. 

The Three Lions beat Italy 2-1 in Naples on Thursday to get their campaign off to the best possible start, and victory on Sunday would put them in a strong position to top the group.

Gareth Southgate won’t be able to call on defender Reece James, though, as the Chelsea star has withdrawn from the squad due to injury.

The FA announced on Twitter that the full-back has left the England camp for an ‘assessment of an ongoing issue’.

The 23-year-old’s injury record will worry both Southgate and Chelsea boss Graham Potter.

Since the start of the season, James has missed 18 games for The Blues, having spent more than 100 days on the sidelines already this term.

When he is fully fit, James is undoubtedly one of the world’s best in his position, but both Southgate and Potter are increasingly unable to rely on the defender’s fitness.

James won’t be available for England’s game against Ukraine on Sunday

James, a product of Chelsea’s fruitful academy, made his debut for his boyhood club in 2019 and has now played more than 140 times.

For England, James has struggled to nail down a regular starting spot at right-back, with the likes of Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker seemingly ahead of him.

The Chelsea star was substituted on in the closing stages of England’s 2-1 victory in Naples on Thursday, replacing Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.

In total, he has made 15 senior appearances for his country, but he missed out on a place in the squad for the World Cup in Qatar last year due to a knee injury.

Manager Southgate has chosen not to call up a replacement to his squad for the fixture against Ukraine, with Walker or Trippier likely to start on the right of England’s back line.

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