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City trio out to cement England place

England play Turkey at the Etihad Stadium this Sunday for the first time since they beat Iceland 6-1 in June 2004 as Roy Hodgson looks to finalise his plans for Euro 2016.

Three players must drop out of the 26-man provisional squad with the England boss needing to submit 23-strong squad by 31 May.

City have three players in the provisional group and all will hope to see some game-time playing at their home stadium.

So what are the prospects for out trio?

Joe Hart:

England’s undisputed No.1, he is one of three goalkeepers who will be named in the 23-man squad.

Hart was 57 caps, has been Hodgson’s first choice for several years and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

Challenging him are Southampton’s Fraser Forster and Burnley’s Tom Heaton – both excellent keepers in their own right but lacking international; experience.

Raheem Sterling:

Sterling will know he has work to do to guarantee his place on the plane to France.

Injury disrupted the second-half of his season at City and he found it difficult to rediscover the sort of blistering form that he began the campaign with.

His nine goals in 21 games was as good a return as any of the attacking midfielders for England but he featured only fleetingly in the Blues’ final games.

In his favour is that when he’s fit, he is a Hodgson regular and the England boss is loyal to the players he believes helped the Three Lions qualify for the tournament.

Sterling offers England pace and width so his main rival for a spot must be Andros Townsend who had a strong finish to the campaign.

If Sterling can show his best form in the friendlies against Turkey and Australia, he should have no problem booking his place in the final 23.

Fabian Delph:

Like Sterling, Delph’s season was hampered by injury but he is another favourite of Hodgson.

The hard-working midfielder played a fraction of the games he might have expected to for City and that will be a concern to the England boss who can ill-afford to lose any of his squad during the tournament.

Delph brings a zip and energy to the middle of the park that few others do – but the emergence of Danny Drinkwater and return to fitness of Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson mean one of this quartet are likely to miss out.

Wilshere has only just returned from a season-long lay-off and Henderson hasn’t played for Liverpool since early April after injuring his knee.

Two typically-lung-bursting displays for the City man in the coming days should book his place for the finals.

England’s final game before the championships will be against Australia next Friday at the Stadium of Light and the clash with Turkey kicks off at 5.15.

The full provisional squad is:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool).

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Andros Townsend (Newcastle United), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

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