England: Marcus Rashford withdraws from squad with ankle injury

How is England expected to line up vs Czech Republic for the Euro 2020 qualifiers?

In February, Rice - who also played 20 times for Ireland at various youth levels after qualifying via his Cork grandparents - finally announced his controversial decision to declare for England.

The 21-year-old has six England goals in his career and scored twice during the group stages of the UEFA Nations League.

But Southgate said it would not affect his chances of using him tonight, with Rice likely to start on the bench.

The incident has overshadowed Rice's first England call-up since making the decision to switch worldwide allegiance from Republic of Ireland, but Southgate said it will not affect the 20-year-old's chances of featuring at Wembley.

Southgate's job has been aided by the rapid progress of the young English players under the astute guidance of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, Pep Guardiola with Manchester City and Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.

The FA will write to West Ham youngster Rice to remind him of his responsibilities, but Southgate called for understanding from the Wembley crowd should he make his England debut against the Czech Republic at Wembley tonight.

"I'll go and just make sure he knows that firstly, that he's OK and that he's supported", Southgate added.

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"I'm good friends with Raheem as you know".

'That's a great benchmark for us, and with the quality of young players coming through, there is no reason we should allow those standards to drop, because there's real competition for places.

"I can't wait for clubs to pick players 50, 100 times - that's not the landscape we're operating in. But your focus has got to change", he said.

"Throughout the age groups [Sancho and Hudson-Odoi] have been very similar in their development. And things like that don't really happen".

Hudson-Odoi's call-up in particular has raised eyebrows given that he is yet to start a Premier League match for Chelsea, but Southgate is adamant he can not allow age to be a barrier when selecting his England squad.

"We've probably said things, written things that would look different several years later".

"We'll have some players come through that will surprise us and, frankly, are going to excite the public because when they see them play, they're going to be excited by what they've seen because we are".

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