England vs Czech Republic: Mount, Chilwell are self-isolating

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England national team could play the Czech Republic without Chelsea’s duo of Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell who have to self-isolate ahead of the clash scheduled to kick-off at 20:00 today, June 22, 2021.

The two players were in contact with Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour after England’s 0-0 draw with the Scottish team in Euro 2020 Group D game on June 18. Unfortunately for them, the Scottish midfielder tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, June 21.

In line with coronavirus protocol in the ongoing European Championship, Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell would have to self-isolate to ensure that they did not contract the virus from Gilmour, their teammate at Chelsea.

Though Mount had contacts with Gilmour on the pitch on June 18 just like every other player that might have tackled him during the game, they both stood, had a chat, and embraced each other after the game. Chilwell who did not play in the game also had a chat and embraced the Scottish midfielder after the game.

The trio exchange pleasantries after England's 0-0 draw with Scotland.
The trio exchange pleasantries after England’s 0-0 draw with Scotland.

A statement from the English Football Association read: “As a precaution at this time and in consultation with Public Health England, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount are isolating after interaction with Scotland player Billy Gilmour at Friday’s match.

“The pair will be kept away from the rest of the England players and wider support team, pending further discussions with PHE. The entire squad had lateral flow tests on Monday afternoon and all were again negative, as was the case with Sunday’s UEFA pre-match PCR tests.

“We will continue to follow all Covid-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime while remaining in close contact with PHE.”

Meanwhile, the coach of England, Gareth Southgate seems unhappy that his players have to go into self-isolation for being in contact with Gilmour while no Scottish player has been made to isolate despite sharing the same locker room with his national teammates.

England vs Czech Republic: Mount, Chilwell are self-isolating
Mason Mount of England loved up with Billy Gilmour after the Euro 2020 Group D game between England and Scotland.

While noting that he does not want to cause problems for Scotland who are placed at the bottom of Group D, the coach questioned the perimeters used in asking his two England players to go into isolation while Scotland players are exempted.

“I don’t know all of the factors behind that,” the England head coach said. “Clearly it’s nothing to do with being on the pitch, so that’s why there’s no issue around teams training for example.

“I don’t want to cause a drama for Scotland, but if you’re all in the dressing room together, where does everything stand?

“Our medical people are dealing with all this, I’m being updated as regularly as we can be, which is every hour or so, there’s a little bit more information and we have to accept whatever the situation is and adapt to it, that’s the world we’re all living in across every family, and across every sport and every business.”

England situation in Group D

England coach Gareth Southgate.
England coach Gareth Southgate.

England are in a good position to qualify from Group D. They are currently occupying the second spot of the group behind the Czech Republic, their tonight’s opponents.

However, England and the Czech Republic are having four points apiece. Czech are only ahead due to superior goals difference (2 goals). Hence, if England beat Czech tonight, the English side would finish the group stage as Group D leaders.

On the other hand, if the Czech Republic beat or draw 0-0 with England they would remain the group leaders. If it is a loss for England, it will be a difficult situation for them if Croatia beat Scotland with at least four goals margin.

So, realistically, England are through to the round of 16 but mathematically, there is still a slim chance of losing out if the unthinkable happens tonight.