• Euro 2012

Young 'doubtful' for Italy showdown

ESPN staff
June 20, 2012

Ashley Young is facing a race against time to prove his fitness for England's Euro 2012 quarter-final clash with Italy on Sunday, according to reports.

Young played the full 90 minutes as England booked their last-eight spot with a 1-0 victory over Ukraine on Tuesday - but after the match, it emerged he was struggling with a shin problem.

Young was a peripheral figure at the Donbass Arena, with his best moment a fine cross which an unmarked Wayne Rooney somehow contrived to miss from six yards out.

Young started each of England's three group games, initially in a central role and then on the left flank, as he fought off competition for a place from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Stewart Downing.

If Young is unable to face Italy, then England boss Roy Hodgson is likely to turn to Walcott, who had a devastating impact as a substitute - scoring one and assisting the winner - as the Three Lions beat Sweden 3-2 last Friday.

Walcott's inclusion could mean James Milner switching over to the left flank from the right, where he has begun each of England's first three encounters - although there is also the option of bringing in Liverpool midfielder Downing.

Italy will be without key Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, who injured his thigh in the 2-0 victory over Republic of Ireland on Monday.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.