Sterling, who has scored 20 goals in 81 games for England, missed the win over Senegal after flying back to the UK on a “family matter”. Jewelery and watches were among the items stolen from the home of the Chelsea winger, who is believed to have been left “shaken” by the robbery and fearing for the safety of his fiancée and children.
As it is, Gareth Southgate must prepare for the task of taking on the world champions on the grounds that Sterling is unavailable. England are not short of attacking options. Sterling has lost his place since the start of the tournament and Southgate said the former Manchester City should not be in the starting lineup against Senegal.
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England had Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden on the wings against Senegal. Southgate also has James Maddison, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish and Mason Mount vying for spots at the wide positions.
Saka and Foden are likely to keep their places on the wings against France. Sterling started the tournament scoring as England beat Iran 6–2 in their opening game, but was substituted after a disappointing performance in a goalless draw against the United States. He then was an unused substitute as England sealed their place in the round of 16 by beating Wales.
Surrey Police confirmed on Monday that they are investigating a burglary at a property in Oxshott. The force said it had been contacted at 9:00 p.m. Saturday after Sterling’s family returned home from international travel to discover items were missing. It is not clear when the robbery occurred. There was no threat of violence involved and no one present on the property when the robbery occurred.
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The Football Association has reiterated to England players that additional security measures can be put in place at their homes while they are away. English soccer’s governing body spoke to the team ahead of the World Cup and told them they would have access to additional support before flying to Qatar. The FA contact local police forces when players request increased security at their residences.