West Ham United: Declan Rice set to start for England v France in World Cup after battling illness
Declan Rice is set to start England’s quarter-final clash against France on Saturday evening according to The Mirror, with the West Ham captain recovering from illness.
Gareth Southgate was given a scare this week when Rice sat out of England training due to an illness. Rumours quickly started spreading about whether the 23-year-old would be fit enough to face France.
However, The Mirror have put England’s doubts to bed by reporting that Rice is back fit, in training, and set to start against the 2018 world champions.
“England midfielder Rice trained fully after missing a session on Wednesday through illness and is set to start against France as Gareth Southgate will be able to name an unchanged line-up,” reads the report.
Should Rice start, it’ll mark his fifth consecutive start in the Qatar tournament after being named in every group stage lineup as well as the round of 16 clash against Senegal.
West Ham fans will be keen to see Rice strutting his stuff for England on the weekend, but more importantly, they wanted to see their talisman fit and healthy.
He’ll be absolutely crucial in the second half of the season as the Hammers look to turn around their abysmal Premier League form. West Ham sit 16th in the table, just one point above the relegation zone.
There’s a good chance this could be Rice’s last season at the London Stadium before he departs for a club regularly playing in the Champions League, and West Ham need to make the most out of it.
Silverware is possible if West Ham continue their impressive run in the Europa Conference League, but the Premier League will likely be David Moyes’ priority after relegation became a real threat in the last few league matches.
The Scotsman will have his fingers crossed that Rice returns to east London in good health and with lots of confidence from his World Cup run. Rice’s heavy workload won’t be lightened anytime soon.