“They Won’t Play” – Gary Neville Makes Big Prediction About 2 Arsenal Players Ahead Of City Clash

The Arsenal players in the England squad won’t be asked to play for the Three Lions in the second friendly against Belgium next Tuesday, according to Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville.

Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, Neville said that Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka will likely be given the chance to rest ahead of the game against Manchester City, along with Phil Foden:

“I will make a prediction. Either Declan, Saka, Foden – I have a good feeling they will pull out of the second game. Or they won’t play and Gareth [Southgate] will do a deal with them.”

With England not in competitive action during the international break, it would be sensible for manager Gareth Southgate to give the likes of Saka (in particular) some leeway.

The Arsenal star wasn’t in training on Wednesday

Saka sat out the Three Lions’ last training session, prompting fears about his overall fitness. However, it must be pointed out that he has remained with the squad, suggesting that the problem isn’t all that serious.

It could be the case that England’s medical staff are just being careful with his workload. It would, therefore, stand to reason that the winger may only play in one of the two friendlies.

Other players have already pulled out of international duty

Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel have withdrawn from Brazil’s squad, while Thomas Partey opted against joining up with Ghana as he builds up his fitness.

Considering how important the City fixture is, it is not a surprise that so many are taking precautions as they look to avoid injuries ahead of the match on Sunday week. We will see if Saka and Rice do return early to London Colney as well.

Watch the Chris Wheatley Show on Shots! TV as Chris discusses Ben White’s England decision, Gabriel Martinelli’s injury and previews the Manchester City fixture

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.