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Elderly patients are still given ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders against their or their families’ wishes

Condemned by a 'care pathway'... again: Elderly patients are still given 'Do Not Resuscitate' orders against their or their families' wishes as this 93-year-old's...
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    Which of Eric Dier, Conor Coady, Michael Keane and Tyrone Mings can stake a claim for England?

    The case for England’s defence: With Joe Gomez now a doubt for Euro 2020, Eric Dier, Conor Coady, Michael Keane and Tyrone Mings can all stake a claim to partner Harry Maguire… but will any of them step up and make the position their own?

    • Joe Gomez sustained a serious injury in England training on Wednesday 
    • The defender could miss Euro 2020 if he is ruled out for the rest of the season
    • Gareth Southgate must now decide who will partner Harry Maguire in defence 
    • Eric Dier, Conor Coady, Michael Keane and Tyrone Mings are all in with a chance 

    It was a headache Gareth Southgate didn’t want or need – but Joe Gomez’s injury has left him with some serious thinking to do as England prepare for three fixtures in seven days.  

    The Liverpool defender injured his knee in training on Wednesday and has now undergone successful surgery to fix the issue.

    But he faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines and a battle to play again this season – putting his place at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament in jeopardy. 

    Joe Gomez was the leading candidate to partner Harry Maguire in England’s defence

    With Harry Maguire seemingly the first choice centre back, Gomez was the leading candidate to partner him in a back four, and would have almost certainly have started in a back three. 

    But the defender’s injury opens the door for the likes of Eric Dier, Conor Coady, Michael Keane and Tyrone Mings to stake a claim for a place in Southgate’s starting XI. 

    The next three games against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland will give the England boss a good chance to assess at his alternative options. Sportsmail takes a look at the men competing for a place in his defence…

    The next three games give Gareth Southgate a good chance to look at his alternative options

    The next three games give Gareth Southgate a good chance to look at his alternative options

    Eric Dier  

    Dier made his England debut in midfield back in 2015 and also played there under Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.

    But having originally joined Spurs as a centre back, the 26-year-old reverted back to his natural position during Project Restart and all of his games this season have been in defence.

    Southgate has started Dier in a back three and back four during the Nations League fixtures and he has likely played his way into the starting XI for the upcoming games against Belgium and Iceland. 

    The defender has also been impressive in a Spurs side that look like they could challenge for trophies this season.

    As things stand, Dier would be nailed on to start as part of a back three. The only concern with him and Maguire in a back four would be a lack of pace. 

    Chances of going to Euro 2020: 4.5/5

    Chances of starting at Euro 2020: 4/5 

    Eric Dier has reverted back to his natural position of centre back for both club and country

    Eric Dier has reverted back to his natural position of centre back for both club and country

    Conor Coady

    The Wolves captain has been a breath of fresh air since his arrival on the international stage and he is clearly relishing playing for his country.

    Coady is accustomed to playing in a back three at club level which makes him an appealing option to Southgate. The England boss also clearly trusts the Liverpudlian having started him in three of the last four games.

    The 27-year-old is known for his talking and leadership – two qualities that stand him in good stead for making the squad next summer. He will likely be competing with Dier for a place in the starting XI. 

    A back three of Maguire, Dier and Coady seems unlikely with Southgate usually filling one of the centre back places with a more mobile player (that’s where Gomez would have come in).  

    Chances of going to Euro 2020: 4/5

    Chances of starting at Euro 2020: 3.5/5 

    Conor Coady's experience of playing in a back three could stand him in good stead for England

    Conor Coady’s experience of playing in a back three could stand him in good stead for England

    Michael Keane

    After a mixed 2019-2020 campaign, Keane has been one of Everton’s best players at the start of this season.

    His form earned him a call-ups to the last two squads and should his good form continue at club level, he has a strong chance of sealing a spot at next summer’s tournament.

    The 27-year-old seems to be behind Dier and Coady in the centre back pecking order – Southgate started Keane in the friendly against Wales last month but he did not feature against Belgium or Denmark. 

    He is more accustomed to playing in a back four than a back three with Everton usually playing a 4-3-3 formation – something which may prevent him being first choice at international level. 

    Chances of going to Euro 2020: 3.5/5

    Chances of starting at Euro 2020: 3/5 

    Michael Keane has been one of Everton's best players at the start of the current campaign

    Michael Keane has been one of Everton’s best players at the start of the current campaign

    Tyrone Mings

    Mings has been part of an Aston Villa side that has kept four clean sheets this season, with the latest coming at the Emirates last weekend. 

    The centre back has just three caps for England and is likely competing with Keane to be one of the first back-up options.  

    Like Keane, Mings is more suited to a back four than a back three, having formed a strong partnership with Ezri Konsa at Villa.

    With Southgate usually starting three centre backs, he will need at least three back-up players and if Mings continues to play well in the Premier League he should earn himself a place in the Euro squad.

    Chances of going to Euro 2020: 3/5

    Chances of starting at Euro 2020: 3/5

    Tyrone Mings has helped Aston Villa keep three clean sheets in the league this season

    Tyrone Mings has helped Aston Villa keep three clean sheets in the league this season

    Kyle Walker

    The injury to Gomez has perhaps increased Kyle Walker’s chances of both making the squad next summer and being a regular starter. 

    His chances of playing at right back look slim with Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James likely ahead of him in the pecking order. 

    But his speed makes him a strong contender to play in a back three alongside Maguire and one other centre back. 

    Southgate also knows he can trust the Man City man to play in the role having utilised him there at the 2018 World Cup.

    Chances of going to Euro 2020: 4/5

    Chances of starting at Euro 2020: 3.5/5 

    Kyle Walker's pace make him an asset in a back three alongside Harry Maguire and one other

    Kyle Walker’s pace make him an asset in a back three alongside Harry Maguire and one other

    James Tarkowski

    The Burnley defender recently told the Lancashire Telegraph he felt like the ‘forgotten man’ having been left out of the recent squads.

    Tarkowski was part of a team that kept the second most clean sheets last season but is seemingly out of favour with Southgate, with his last appearance for England coming in 2018.

    Burnley have had a poor start to the season and sit second bottom of the table – although they have still kept two clean sheets. 

    With Keane, Mings, Coady and Dier all ahead of him, it would likely take another few injuries for Tarkowski to force his way back into the Three Lions set-up.

    Chances of going to Euro 2020: 2/5

    Chances of starting at Euro 2020: 1.5/5 

    James Tarkowski said he felt like the forgotten man after falling down England's pecking order

    James Tarkowski said he felt like the forgotten man after falling down England’s pecking order

    John Stones 

    Another forgotten man but one of the key players from the 2018 World Cup, John Stones has not played for England since November 2019.

    With the defender unable to get a game at Man City, he looks up against it to secure a place in Southgate’s squad next summer – unless he can secure himself a January transfer.

    Nathan Ake’s injury for Holland may propel him up the pecking order at the Etihad and he did play 90 minutes in the Champions League against Olympiacos earlier this month.

    He needs games to have a chance of working his way back into Southgate’s plans. 

    Chances of going to Euro 2020: 2/5

    Chances of starting at Euro 2020: 1.5/5 

    John Stones was one of the key men at the 2018 World Cup but has not played since last year

    John Stones was one of the key men at the 2018 World Cup but has not played since last year

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