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James Maddison goes off injured, three days before England leave for World Cup

Ryan Sidle

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James Maddison goes off injured, three days before England leave for World Cup

James Maddison limped off with an injury in the first half of Leicester City's game with West Ham United on Saturday, just days before leaving for the World Cup.

There has been gathering momentum behind the idea of Maddison being called up for the tournament in Qatar, by Gareth Southgate, in recent months.

On Thursday afternoon, the Euro 2020 runners up announced their 26 man squad to travel to the Middle East, with the Leicester City playmaker being given the nod.

With the Three Lions kicking off their campaign in just nine days time, the final round of fixtures this weekend were always going to leave the nation feeling a bit of anxiety.

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On Saturday, the 25-year-old lined up against West Ham, as two sides struggling near the bottom of the Premier League looked to give themselves a boost heading into the six week break.

It took just eight minutes for the forward to show exactly why everyone wanted him in the squad, and why Southgate relented, as he opened the scoring, smashing home from the right of the box after Patson Daka's effort fell to him.

However, the good times were over in the 22nd minute of the game when the former Norwich City player slumped to his arse on the half way line.

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What seemed to be a muscle injury ended his game prematurely and he was replaced by Dennis Praet, leaving a nation hoping it wouldn't be a bad injury.

"Surely not," Michael Owen said on social media, "Maddison off with what looks like a hamstring injury. Football can be so cruel," if anyone would know what a hamstring injury looks like in fairness.

Leicester City fan Gary Lineker added, "Oh noooooo. James Maddison limps off."

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One fan page said, "James Maddison down off the ball holding his hamstring…This is awful, absolutely awful. This doesn’t look good at all."

Another fan was more hopeful, trying to find a reason for the injury, saying, "Maybe this is wishful thinking but if I’m Maddison and I’ve already got a goal on the board and my flight to Qatar leaves in two hours I’m absolutely 100% faking an injury."

Standard sport journalist Malik Ouzia did at least give some optimism that it wasn't a hamstring issue, posting, "Was clutching his hamstring at one point but physio's looking at his ankle. Able to walk off, to chants of 'England's Number 10.'"

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The World Cup was already totting up a certain amount of players who would be missing through injuries, although Sadio Mane and Son Heung-min were both included in their country's squads this week despite earlier fears.

But things were not looking great for Southgate, in a weekend of football that he would have certainly rather wasn't taking place at all.

As well as Maddison, Declan Rice, who has previously talked about player burnout, wasn't looking too comfortable, after an early knock.

Jordan Pickford made a big error in Everton's game with Bournemouth, allowing the hosts to take an early lead, although the goalkeeper has rarely done anything wrong in an England shirt.

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Southgate was also given a stark reminder of a player he hasn't chosen for the World Cup, after Ivan Toney scored twice, including the match winner, in Brentford's shock win away to champions Manchester City.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: James Maddison, England, Football World Cup, Qatar, Gareth Southgate, Premier League, Leicester City, West Ham United

Ryan Sidle
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