Why Chelsea star Raheem Sterling is not involved in the England vs Senegal World Cup game

Raheem Sterling will miss England’s first knockout round meeting with Senegal - and here is why.

Chelsea star Raheem Sterling is not involved for England tonight as they take on the Teranga Lions of Senegal.

The Chelsea star has been one of the most trusted players under Gareth Southgate but has been left out of the game. According to the English FA, Sterling has had an emergency family issue which he has to deal with and thus has been afforded the time out to deal with it and there is hope he will be able to return to the squad if England progress into the quarter-final.

Arsenal defender Ben White will also not be involved after he left the England camp to attend to a pressing issue back home but is now expected to return to the tournament. England have coped well so far in Qatar, winning two and drawing the other of their group stage games. However, their first knockout round meeting with Senegal will be herculean as it offers a different test to Southgate’s side.

If they scale this test, they will take on a Kylian Mbappe-inspired France, who beat Poland earlier on Sunday afternoon to book a place at the quarter final stage. Most expect England to beat the African Champions, who lost to Netherlands before navigating their way through the group stages with wins against host nation Qatar and Ecuador.

There were reports that Southgate would recall Bukayo Saka, who scored a brace against Iran before being rested against Wales in the final group game - and they were confirmed an hour before kick-off when the Arsenal star was named in the starting eleven at the expense of Marcus Rashford. Southgate has also assured that his team is well prepared for every situation including if they have to go to the penalty shoot out.