England v Montenegro: Raheem Sterling to miss Euro 2020 qualifier at Wembley
England forward Raheem Sterling will not play in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro on Thursday “as a result of a disturbance in a private team area”, the Football Association has announced.
The Manchester City player, 24, was involved in an on-field argument with Liverpool defender Joe Gomez, 22, during the Reds’ 3-1 Premier League victory at Anfield on Sunday.
The Press Association reports the pair were again involved in an exchange on Monday.
“Unfortunately the emotions of yesterday’s game were still raw,” said England boss Gareth Southgate.
“One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team.
“We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday. My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken.
“Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it’s important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night.”
England play their 1,000th senior men’s international on Thursday and a win at Wembley would book a spot at Euro 2020 with one qualifying game to spare.
The Three Lions are top of Euro 2020 Qualifying Group A, three points clear of the Czech Republic and four ahead of Kosovo with the top two nations advancing.
A win for Southgate’s side will see them qualify, while a point will also be enough if the match between the Czech Republic and Kosovo also ends in a draw.
England then play their final group match away in Kosovo on Sunday.
Sterling, who joined Manchester City from Liverpool in 2015, has made 55 appearances for England, scoring 12 times, and netted in the 5-1 away win in Podgorica in March, while Gomez has featured seven times for the national side.
However, Gomez has struggled for first-team action for Liverpool this season and only started one Premier League match.
Sterling has started 11 of City’s league matches in 2019-20 and has scored 14 times in 17 appearances in all competitions for his club, as well as scoring four times for England.