England manager, Gareth Southgate has decried the scarcity of players qualified to play for England getting regular matches in the Premier League.
The top of the table clash between Manchester City and Liverpool is a mouthwatering fixture but the England boss wants to see more players available for his selection playing at the topmost level.
The Three Lions boss suggested that less than half of the players who will be fielded in that top of the table clash will be eligible to represent England at International level.
Although there has been a little increase in the number of English players playing in England’s top-flight compared to last year, Southgate thinks it’s not just enough yet.
“Well, it used to be double that,” the English gaffer said when told up to six English players would play in Sunday’s game.
“So that’s probably a bigger sign of the times, that we won’t have half the players on the field eligible for us. Then we have to pick up the pieces of that game.
“That’s the difficulty from our perspective but those that are playing are of good quality and, of course, it’s a huge game for all of them.”
“We’re a few per cent higher this year, which is a positive step. You can see even by that small shift that we have two or three players we are picking now that we wouldn’t have had a chance to pick last season. I think I’ve said enough about eligibility issues and the numbers, but the reality is still different from that of the last few decades.”
Southgate bemoans having to pick players who fo not play regular first team football.
This includes John Stones of Manchester City and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool. Southgate claims it’s their top-level experience that gives them the edge for selection as well as their team-mates.
“In the ideal scenario you want players that are playing in matches where they’re pushing to win trophies,” he went on.
“The extra pressure that comes with those games is what you have to deal with [when you are] with England.