Premier League clubs ‘fear for England stars playing on North Macedonia’s ‘dangerous’ pitch’ after surface was BANNED

6 months ago 66

PREMIER LEAGUE clubs are concerned their England players will return from the international break injured after playing on a “dangerous” pitch, it’s claimed.

The Three Lions face North Macedonia tonight in their final Euro 2024 qualifier.

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The pitch at the Tose Proeski Arena was relaid just six weeks ago[/caption]

England have already booked their place at the major tournament and will finish top of Group C.

Ahead of the game, there is concern the pitch at the Tose Proeski Arena will cause injuries.

The surface was relaid just six weeks ago after the old turf was banned by Uefa.

Reports suggest that Premier League bosses will be watching tonight’s match from behind the sofas amid fears that the new pitch isn’t ready yet.

The Telegraph claim the grass is “rock-solid” and teams have been told there are certain parts of the turf they should not warm-up on.

On the pitch, England manager Gareth Southgate said: “I know they’ve relaid it. I would imagine it hasn’t quite knitted, but we’ll see.

“That’s why you want to make sure you’re qualified well in advance.

“We said that right at the start of the qualifying campaign, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get away from home.”

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Italy played North Macedonia in September in Skopje and the game ended 1-1 with players from both nation’s slamming the surface.

Ciro Immobile said: “Playing on a pitch like this could be dangerous. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but on this field it becomes even tougher.”

Eljif Elmas added: “We played on a frankly shameful pitch. I can only apologise to all Italians, to all of Europe. You cannot play football on a pitch like this. It was a problem for us just as much as it was for Italy.”

Several England players have already pulled out of the squad, most recently Jarrod Bowen with a knee issue and Kieran Trippier for personal reasons.

Jude Bellingham, Levi Colwill, James Maddison, Lewis Dunk and Callum Wilson all withdrew before Friday’s 2-0 win over Malta.

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