As the Three Lions prepare to take on Sweden in the last eight on Saturday, it seems certain that Southgate’s striking ranks will be hampered by the absence of Leicester star Vardy, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Vardy took part in the warm-up with the squad on Friday morning, but was not able to take part in the full training session, making it highly unlikely that the striker will play against Sweden.
Vardy was brought on as a substitute late in the second half during the last 16 victory over Colombia on Tuesday, but was unable to take a penalty during the shootout after suffering a groin strain - an injury which now seems certain to keep him out of contention altogether on Saturday.
Whilst the striker’s involvement in the warm-up may offer a glimmer of hope that Vardy may return to action for England at a later stage in the competition, should his side succeed without him against Sweden, his absence places further pressure on Harry Kane to deliver in the quarter final.
Of the ten goals which England have registered at the tournament so far, Kane has scored six.
His role as captain and focal point of Southgate’s side places a great deal of responsibility on the Tottenham star’s shoulders, and Vardy’s injury leaves Kane with much to do for his side if they are to fire their way past Sweden on Saturday.