Marcus Rashford to miss England's first two Euro 2020 qualifiers

Credit: PA

Marcus Rashford has been ruled out of England's Euro 2020 qualification double-header after failing to shake off an ankle injury, manager Gareth Southgate has said.

The Three Lions' preparations for Friday's Group A opener against the Czech Republic at a sold-out Wembley have been hampered somewhat by a string of injuries.

John Stones, Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Luke Shaw and Trent Alexander-Arnold have dropped out of the squad this week, offset only by the additions of Callum Hudson-Odoi and James Ward-Prowse.

Southgate's initial 25-man selection is now down to 21 players after striker Rashford returned to Manchester United on the eve of the Czech Republic clash.

The 21-year-old had an individual session indoors away from the main training group at St George's Park on Thursday and Southgate has now confirmed that an ankle issue has seen him withdraw.

Asked about Rashford, Southgate said at a press conference: "He's been with our medical team all week and we've tried to progress him but it's clear he's not going to be ready for our matches so we've sent him back.

"We knew Marcus might not be ready so it's a good opportunity for others."