Saturday, February 24, 2024

Man City teenager Rico Lewis set to START England’s Euro 2024 qualifier against North Macedonia, with Gareth Southgate ready to hand rising star his full senior debut after Kieran Trippier’s withdrawal

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  • Kieran Trippier withdrew from the England squad on Sunday morning
  • Rico Lewis is tipped to make his debut and fill in for Trippier at left back tonight
  • England will struggle to win a trophy with Kalvin Phillips – It’s All Kicking Off

Manchester City youngster Rico Lewis is set to be handed his full international debut for England’s final Euro 2024 qualifier against North Macedonia tonight.

The Three Lions head to Skopje aiming to finish their campaign on a high after an underwhelming 2-0 win against Malta on Friday, but do not have a recognised left back in their squad after Kieran Trippier withdrew on Sunday due to a ‘personal matter’.

Trippier was expected to start on the left tonight, but Gareth Southgate must now find an alternative option, and Mail Sport understands he is likely to turn to Lewis.

Lewis was only a late call-up to the squad last week after injuries to Jude Bellingham and Levi Colwill.

He did not feature against Malta, but could be given his first cap at the age of 18 this evening – he will turn 19 tomorrow.

Rico Lewis is in line for his full England debut against North Macedonia tonight

Gareth Southgate is set to put his faith in Lewis for his team's final Euro 2024 qualifier

Gareth Southgate is set to put his faith in Lewis for his team’s final Euro 2024 qualifier

Lewis is likely to get his chance after Kieran Trippier withdrew from the squad on Sunday

Lewis is likely to get his chance after Kieran Trippier withdrew from the squad on Sunday

Should Lewis make his international bow, he would be England’s 20-th youngest debutant, and it would cap off a remarkable rise for the teenager after breaking into City’s first-team over the past 12 months.

Lewis has shown his impressive versatility for Pep Guardiola’s men, having played in both full pack positions and in central midfield.

This may be the decisive factor in getting him the nod for tonight’s match after Fikayo Tomori struggled in the unfamiliar role on Friday at Wembley.

The AC Milan defender, who typically plays as a centre back at club level, was taken off at half time after a difficult first 45 minutes.

He is unlikely to be put in the same situation against North Macedonia, and with Luke Shaw, Ben Chilwell and Colwill all sidelined through injury, Southgate’s options are limited.

But Lewis, who has made 10 appearances for City this season, has risen to every challenge that has been presented to him so far, and may now be only hours away from getting his chance to prove himself on the international stage.

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