Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling is expected to miss the friendly against ItalyGetty Images

England manager Roy Hodgson expects further players will withdraw from the squad amid reports Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling will miss the friendly against Italy as he continues to nurse a toe injury.

Sterling will be available for the European Championship qualifier against Lithuania on 27 March but will not be available for selection for the trip to Turin on 31 March and will become the fourth player to pull out of the squad.

Liverpool duo Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge have already returned to their club for treatment on respective groin injuries, while Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster suffered a knee injury in the 2-0 Premier League win over Burnley.

"People may judge us on Italy rather than Lithuania but that is dangerous because apart from all the players I have lost through injury, I fear we will lose a few more," Hodgson told Talksport.

"Already there are one or two who I know won't be able to join us against Italy because of the problems they are dealing with at the moment. I fear, on this occasion in particular, it won't be as strong a team as maybe I would like to have put out."

The news is the latest blow to a top-four-chasing Liverpool side ahead of the resumption of their domestic campaign against Arsenal on 5 March, where they will hope to half the six-point gap to the north London club.

In addition to the injuries suffered by Lallana and Sturridge, captain Steven Gerrard will serve the first of a three-game suspension for his dismissal against Manchester United while Martin Skrtel is expected to be unavailable with the result of a Football Association violent charge imminent.

It leaves Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers potentially without at least five players for the first of the club's last eight league matches and the Northern Irish boss will be hoping the remainder of his squad currently away on international duty return unscathed.