John Stones misses England training through illness four days before their Euro 2024 opener, as stern-looking stars get serious to prepare for Serbia

Manchester City star John Stones will miss England training on Wednesday due to an illness
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  • Manchester City star John Stones is England’s leading central defender
  • The 30-year-old was plagued by injuries last season and only played twelve league matches
  • Click here to follow the Mail Sport Euro 2024 WhatsApp channel for all the latest news and updates from Germany
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England’s preparations for their Euro 2024 opener against Serbia on Sunday have been disrupted, with John Stones set to miss training due to illness.

The Three Lions trained in Germany for the first time on Tuesday after arriving at their base at the Weimarer Land Spa and Golf Resort on the outskirts of Blankenhain.

Southgate received a double boost thanks to the participation of Luke Shaw and Stones, who was substituted at half-time in the final warm-up friendly after taking a blow during the early exchanges.

But the Manchester City defender has now been forced to sit out Wednesday’s session due to illness.

The 30-year-old is one of five centre-backs selected by the England boss for the tournament, but he is by far the most important to the side’s success, especially after long-time international partner Harry Maguire was left out of the squad due to injury .

The Three Lions are busy preparing for their tournament opener against Serbia on Sunday

The Three Lions are busy preparing for their tournament opener against Serbia on Sunday

The 30-year-old's absence is not ideal for England boss Gareth Southgate (left), whose squad is already stretched at centre-back.

The 30-year-old’s absence is not ideal for England boss Gareth Southgate (left), whose squad is already stretched at centre-back.

Stones himself has had a fairly frustrating campaign on the injury front. He played just 12 Premier League games for City last season after suffering a hip problem at the start of the season.

Stones was an unused substitute in seven of City’s last ten league games and failed to make the squad all the way in another match. Despite that patchy involvement at club level, he remains irreplaceable for the national team.

Meanwhile, Shaw was seen kicking a ball for the first time in five months during Tuesday’s training, boosting hopes he would be available to be included in the squad for next Thursday’s game against Denmark.

Shaw did not complete the full session and was an outlier during the closing stages of training.

Nevertheless, his participation in Tuesday’s full session is seen as another positive step towards his recovery. The Manchester United defender was spotted again on the training pitch on Wednesday.

Kieran Trippier will replace Shaw at left-back at the start of the tournament.

Veteran Man United goalkeeper Tom Heaton (centre right) has been called up to help in training.

Veteran Man United goalkeeper Tom Heaton (centre right) has been called up to help in training.

Meanwhile, concerns over Bukayo Saka’s fitness appear to have improved as he was seen smiling in the German sunshine with his teammates. There were concerns about Saka’s match sharpness and whether he was ready for action after missing Arsenal’s final game of the season.

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They were joined by several England fans who gathered in the stands of Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld to watch the Three Lions being put to the test.

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