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England's Harry Maguire "ready to go" after shaking off ankle injury

England's Harry Maguire
© Reuters
The Manchester United defender hopes to get some game time against the Czech Republic.

Harry Maguire is raring to return from his six-week injury lay-off and help England progress to the European Championship knockout phase as group winners.

Having kicked off Group D with a 1-0 win against World Cup semi-final foes Croatia before drawing 0-0 with oldest rivals Scotland, a partially-filled Wembley will welcome the Czech Republic on Tuesday evening.

Gareth Southgate's men are well placed to progress and know a Wembley return in the last 16 will be be secured by beating the pool-topping Czechs, who Maguire is hoping to get his first Euro 2020 minutes against.

The Manchester United captain missed the end of the club season with the high ankle sprain sustained in early May and made the England bench for the first time against Scotland.

Harry Maguire speaks to Gareth Southgate on the eve of the Czech Republic game
Harry Maguire speaks to Gareth Southgate on the eve of the Czech Republic game (Nick Potts/PA)

"I'm feeling good," Maguire said. "Obviously (with) the ankle injury, it's getting stronger, I'm getting more confident.

"The more sessions I do, the more games I play, I'm sure I'll get more confidence and that's the thing with these type of injuries.

"I think it's just about building the confidence. It's all stable now and I'm available and I'm ready to go.

"Any Euro match is really important to go out there and try and win the football match.

"The boys have put ourselves in a great position in the group – four points from two games – although obviously we want to win every football match so we'd like to be on six.

"But it's still in a strong position and now it's another big game against the Czechs and one we're looking forward to and we go there and try and get three points."

Maguire has spent a lot of time in recent weeks doing individual training as he pushes to get game ready.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has been in a similar boat since undergoing groin surgery in February.

Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire have been pushing to return to full fitness
Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire have been pushing to return to full fitness (Nick Potts/PA)

The 31-year-old has only managed 45 minutes for club or country since going under the knife, but the Liverpool skipper is also pushing to be involved against the Czechs.

"I think it's important leadership in the group," Maguire told the Lions' Den.

"I think we've got a lot of leaders in our group, a lot of captains at club level as well, which is really important to bring that experience.

"Jordan's back to fitness, he's been training a while and myself I'm sure we can bring lots of qualities to the group in terms of leadership off the field.

"But obviously where it matters is on the pitch and the boys have put us in a good position in the group now and we're ready to kick on.

"I think experience and leadership is such an important part of a squad.

"Obviously it's a 26-man squad as well we've got here, so it's a big squad and lots and lots of talents, and lots of first-time tournaments for people.

"I'm sure they're having a great time but you only have a great time and a great tournament if you win football matches and that's what we're here to do."

Tyrone Mings and John Stones have been solid together
Tyrone Mings and John Stones have been solid together (Nick Potts/PA)

Tyrone Mings has kept back-to-back clean sheets alongside John Stones in Maguire's absence, but Southgate will be tempted to put the United skipper alongside the Manchester City defender given their understanding.

"John's had a great season at Manchester City and he's took that into the first few games of the tournament, where he's been excellent," Maguire added.

"Our relationship, we grew up not far from each other, we played against each other in youth teams for Barnsley and Sheffield United.

"He's a good friend of mine and he's a great footballer and he's obviously a pleasure to play alongside."

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England captain Harry Kane during the Euro 2020 clash with Croatia on June 13, 2021
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Tuesday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After an impressive opening day, Great Britain play their final group game against a Fiji side level with them at the top of the pool, but also yet to hit their brilliant best (1.30am)

TAEKWONDO
· After disappointment for friend and housemate Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden will go for gold in the women's +67kg category (2am-2.30pm)
· Mahama Cho is another medal contender for Team GB in the men's +80kg class (2am-2.30pm)

SWIMMING
· Team GB's Duncan Scott has the chance to claim his first individual Olympic medal in the men's 200m freestyle final. Teammate Tom Dean is also involved. (2.43am)
· Kathleen Dawson is the Team GB representative in the women's 100m backstroke final (2.51am)

DIVING
· Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson will look to emulate Tom Daley and Matty Lee's success in the women's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three-time Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin is part of a Team GB team going for gold in the dressage team Grand Prix final (9.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Superstar Simone Biles leads the United States side in the women's team final (11.45am-2.10pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women's team play their final group game, taking on Canada with qualification for the knockout rounds already secured (12pm)

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