• Euro 2012

England delay trip to Donetsk

ESPN staff
June 17, 2012 « Frankel faces 10 rivals at Ascot | Chartbeat test »
The Donbass Arena was hit by a storm on Friday © Getty Images
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England will delay their journey to Donetsk after being told they will not be able to hold a pre-match training session at the Donbass Arena on Monday.

The thunderstorm which caused a one-hour delay to the Ukraine-France game on Friday means groundstaff want to protect the pitch, and with more bad weather forecast for the area both England and the co-hosts have been told they will not be able to have their usual hour session.

England have already played at the ground, against France for the opening game, so they are already used to the surroundings.

The Football Association have now decided to keep the team in Krakow longer, and use the Hutnik Stadium training base they have in the city, rather than use temporary facilities, before taking the long flight to Donetsk.

The squad held a closed training session on Sunday away from the prying eyes of the press and fans, where it is expected manager Roy Hodgson will put his chosen team through their paces for the Ukraine showdown when England will look to gain at least the point they need to assure a place in the last eight.

Rooney, fresh from the most prolific Premier League season of his career with 27 goals, is certain to return to the team. That means one of Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll, who both netted in the thrilling 3-2 win over Sweden, will have to be dropped. It is likely that Welbeck will get the nod ahead of Carroll due to his Manchester United connection with Rooney.

The runners-up in Group D will play their quarter-final and possible semi-final at the stadium.

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