James Milner
James Milner has made 11 Premier League appearances since joining Liverpool from Manchester City in June Getty

James Milner looks set to be absent from the squad for England's upcoming friendly against Spain, with the Liverpool midfielder currently suffering from a hamstring problem. Having sustained the injury during the second half of the 1-0 Europa League victory away at Rubin Kazan on 5 November, he missed out on selection for the top-flight fixture against Crystal Palace on 8 November as goals from Yannick Bolasie and Scott Dann either side of Philippe Coutinho's leveller condemned the Reds to a first defeat in seven matches under Jurgen Klopp.

The 29-year-old, who has donned the captain's armband for his club of late with regular skipper Jordan Henderson sidelined with a broken foot, featured regularly for England during their successful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and was named in Roy Hodgson's initial 23-man squad for the game against Spain on 13 November alongside Liverpool teammates Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana.

Although he is yet to officially withdraw from international duty, the chances of Milner lining up against the 2010 world champions at the Rico Perez Stadium in Alicante or indeed in the subsequent friendly against next summer's tournament hosts France four days later now seem very remote indeed.

Hodgson could opt to deploy Manchester United's Michael Carrick in his absence, with the fit-again Fabian Delph, injured during the 2-0 win over Switzerland in September, Jonjo Shelvey of Swansea and Tottenham Hotspur's star Dele Alli also in contention alongside Everton's Ross Barkley.

Spurs U21 regular Eric Dier will also hope to win his maiden cap after being called up to the senior squad for the first time following a number of eye-catching performances in a new holding midfield role this term. England will be without the services of Arsenal duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, as well as Everton captain Phil Jagielka and Liverpool striker Danny Ings.

Milner is not the only injury concern for Klopp following a busy week that featured three games in a period of just eight days. Although Coutinho and Lallana were deemed fit to start against Palace despite earlier fitness worries, in-form defender Mamadou Sakho was substituted after just 40 minutes of the first half with a right knee issue.

The French centre-back, who has become one of Liverpool's key players since Brendan Rodgers was replaced in October, reportedly left Anfield on crutches and is set for a scan to determine the extent of the damage. Klopp's side, following the Palace defeat, face a difficult trip to league leaders Manchester City after the current international break, before rounding off November with games against Bordeaux and struggling Swansea.