England

Premier League clubs concerned about injury risk of Andorra's artificial pitch

Tom Gott
Andorra's playing surface has been heavily criticised
Andorra's playing surface has been heavily criticised / Eric Alonso/Getty Images
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A number of Premier League clubs have informed Gareth Southgate of their concerns about their English players risking injury by playing on Andorra's infamous artificial pitch on Saturday.

The Estadi Nacional, which has a capacity of just over 3,000 people, features a 3G pitch which has attracted immense criticism since it opened its doors in 2014.

"It was by far the worst pitch I have ever played on," said Wales winger Gareth Bale in 2014. "I can't describe how bad, bobbly and hard the pitch was to deal with."

Teammate Aaron Ramsey also stressed a desire never to play on an artificial surface again after rolling his ankle during the same game.

Work has been done on the Estadi Nacional surface since then, but as noted by the Daily Mail, it's not enough to convince Premier League clubs that their top players are not at risk of injury by playing on the turf.

The general consensus is that artificial surfaces cause more stress on joints like ankles, and with England almost certain to beat Andorra regardless of the lineup they put out, many managers have urged Southgate to consider resting his biggest names.

According to The Telegraph, towards the top of the list of concerns is Tottenham striker Harry Kane, whose history of ankle injuries is no secret.

Harry Kane
Harry Kane's injury history is cause for concern / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Kane has suffered no fewer than seven ankle issues in the past five years, and while he is not currently thought to be nursing any recurrences, there is the obvious worry that the Spurs star may not deal well with playing on artificial grass.

For what it's worth, Kane is believed to be keen to play and chase down Wayne Rooney's all-time goalscoring record, but it seems as though his club would prefer to see him rested and chase the glory when England host Hungary next week.

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