England's Jordan Henderson during the FIFA World Cup Group G match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Jordan Henderson named in England squad for controversial October triple-header

England will play three games in the space of a week in October, and three Liverpool players have been called up for their clashes with Wales, Belgium and Denmark.

The FA made the controversial decision to schedule a friendly against Wales ahead of two further UEFA Nations League ties this month, despite the already congested domestic fixture list.

Liverpool will have already played six times this season by the time they release the majority of their first-team squad for internationals, and will be hoping to avoid injury on top of the new threat of COVID-19 when travelling.

Fortunately, all three England games are to be held at Wembley, but an increase in minutes could still prove a risk for those considered key at club and international level.

From Jurgen Klopp‘s squad, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have all been called up by Gareth Southgate for the meetings with Wales (Oct 8), Belgium (Oct 11) and Denmark (Oct 14).

Henderson is yet to return to Liverpool training due to a thigh problem, but could be back involved ahead of Sunday’s clash with Aston Villa.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain miss out due to injury, while James Milner is retired and Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Rhian Brewster are not yet considered as seniors.

While representing England will be an honour for those called up, the prospect of returning to Merseyside having suffered an injury due to a bizarrely timed friendly or overuse on the pitch is a worrying one.

The Reds have already seen injuries to Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gomez, Milner, Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Billy Koumetio since the start of pre-season, and their workload is only going to increase as the months go by.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool begin their Champions League campaign later this month, while they could push further in the League Cup with victory over Arsenal on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, the FA Cup begins in January, and the Reds will play 13 more Premier League games before the end of the year, including six in a stacked December that will also bring two Champions League ties and a possible League Cup quarter-final.

England have also scheduled an additional friendly against New Zealand on November 12, as part of another triple-header next month along with UEFA Nations League games against Belgium (Nov 15) and Iceland (Nov 18).

Though clubs were claimed to be considering a refusal to release players for internationals during 2020/21, FIFA are set to demand their compliance for World Cup qualifiers and the UEFA Nations League.

England Squad for October

England's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FIFA World Cup Group G match at Kaliningrad Stadium - Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford

Defenders: Joe Gomez, Harry Maguire, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Tyrone Mings, Michael Keane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Bukayo Saka, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, James Ward-Prowse, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Mason Mount, Harry Winks

Forwards: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Danny Ings, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, Harvey Barnes, Tammy Abraham