The Manchester City forward has become key to his country's hopes.

Raheem Sterling dropped: What England will miss in winger's absence

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  • 2019-11-12 19:10:09 3 months ago
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Raheem Sterling will not play in England's 1,000th international having been dropped over a altercation with Joe Gomez.

The Manchester City forward has become key to his country's hopes and here, the PA news agency takes a look at what England will miss against Montenegro on Thursday.

England's main man

Raheem Sterling, left, celebrates with Harry Kane after scoring against Bulgaria
Raheem Sterling (left) has matched England captain Harry Kane's scoring rate in Euro 2020 qualifying (Nick Potts/PA)

Sterling has enjoyed a sparkling Euro 2020 qualification campaign up to this point, taking his international form to a new level.

Having scored four goals in his 47 England caps prior to the start of the process in March, he matched that total with a hat-trick against the Czech Republic and a goal in Montenegro.

He did not score in June's Nations League finals but has four in four games since for a total of eight in six in qualifying.

That leaves him alongside Harry Kane as England's top scorer in the campaign, with only Russia striker Artem Dzyuba and the unlikely figure of Israel's Eran Zahavi ahead of them on nine and 11 respectively from eight games each.

Sterling also has six assists, one behind Holland's Memphis Depay for the lead in that category and matching Dzyuba for the highest combined total.

Manager Gareth Southgate has also praised Sterling off-field contributions, including speaking out against racism in away games in Montenegro and Bulgaria.

Sterling marked his goal against the former by cupping his ears to the crowd and later tweeted a picture of the celebration with the caption "Best way to silence the haters (and yeah I mean racists)".

Sterling's season

Raheem Sterling celebrates his hat-trick at West Ham
Raheem Sterling celebrates his hat-trick at West Ham (Adam Davy/PA)

Sterling has scored seven Premier League goals this season, leaving him alongside Liverpool's Sadio Mane in fifth in the scoring charts behind Jamie Vardy, Tammy Abraham, City team-mate Sergio Aguero and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

His five Champions League goals include a hat-trick in the home win over Atalanta, and only Salzburg sensation Erling Braut Haaland (seven) and Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski (six) have more.

Sterling also scored in the Community Shield against Liverpool and the League Cup win over Preston and has three assists for his club this season.

Raheem Sterling clashes with Joe Gomez, left, in Manchester City's defeat to Liverpool
Sterling clashes with Joe Gomez (left) in Manchester City's defeat to Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

But City's title defence has faltered with three early defeats and Sunday's 3-1 loss to Liverpool saw Sterling's emotions get the better of him, by his own admission, and led to the incident in the England camp.

He was fouled by Gomez, a late Liverpool substitute, who then pushed the City man away before they squared up and were separated by team-mates.

It was not the first time Sterling had shown his frustration, with City twice denied penalties after handball appeals against Trent Alexander-Arnold – the first of which immediately preceded Liverpool's first goal.

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Raheem Sterling dropped: What England will miss in winger's absence

Chris Wilder doubtful Oliver Norwood will reverse Northern Ireland retirement

Oliver Norwood will be cheering Northern Ireland on in their glamour qualifiers against Holland and Germany but there is no hint of the midfielder reversing his international retirement, according to Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder.

Newly-appointed Stoke manager Michael O'Neill will take charge of his country for what could be his swansong with Northern Ireland placed third in Euro 2020 qualifying behind the Group C heavyweights.

Norwood has been an ever-present during the Blades' eye-catching start to the season, helping them to fifth in the Premier League table.

He will be watching his former international team-mates from afar, though, after prematurely calling time on his Northern Ireland career in August.

At just 28, and with 57 caps to his name, the midfielder is in his prime but even the forthcoming fixtures, or the prospect of a Euro play-off in March, have not forced a change of heart.

"He made that decision before these games came along and he knew what decision he wanted to make; he was adamant and positive about that," said Wilder.

"He is still a big supporter of Northern Ireland football and he'll be delighted if they get some positive results. Ollie will be a big cheerleader for them but he's made his decision.

"He wanted to concentrate on this season in the Premier League and he's doing great with the contribution he is making for us."

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Man Utd midfielder Scott McTominay forced to pull out of Scotland squad with ankle injury after limping off vs Brighton

MANCHESTER UNITED have confirmed that an ankle injury will keep Scott McTominay out of Scotland's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Despite picking up the knock in the Europa League beating of Partizan Belgrade, the midfielder was deemed fit to face Brighton on the weekend.

 The Scot failed to finish the game with Brighton
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However he failed to make it to the end of the 3-1 win and limped off after a stretcher was called.

A scan on Monday confirmed McTominay's absence for Scotland with it in doubt that he will be back in time for United after the international break.

The 22-year-old has become a mainstay in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side this season, appearing in every Premier League game.

The Red Devils face a tricky trip to Sheffield United on November 24 before games with Astana and Aston Villa.

But Steve Clarke's Scotland will definitely be without McTominay as they draw their Euro 2020 qualification campaign to a close.

 A stretcher was initially called for the player
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 But McTominay was able to limp off and is a doubt for United's next game
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The Scots face Cyprus and Kazakhstan in their pursuit of third place in Group I, having already missed out on a guaranteed spot at the tournament.

Liverpool defender and national team captain Andrew Robertson has also pulled out but no injury has been specified in his case.

Ryan Fraser is the fourth man absent after Leeds' Liam Cooper was made unavailable on Monday, leading to Lewis Morgan and Graham Shinnie's recalls.

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