Football

Gareth Southgate hints that Harry Kane starting decision has been made


Gareth Southgate has suggested he is prepared to start Harry Kane in England’s clash with the United States on Friday after the Tottenham striker passed a fitness test.

Kane was sent for a scan after appearing to roll his ankle in the Three Lions’ opening fixture against Iran, but the results have come back positive and there are not believed to be any concerns about his fitness.

Asked for a final update on Kane ahead of the game, Southgate even went as far as to suggest he’ll be starting the striker.

“Harry Kane is good. He came through tests with no problems,” Southgate told reporters. “It would be a brave decision to leave him out of the starting team.

“All teams have the same recovery period. It is a little shorter than in previous tournaments. Only will only benefit us if we get through the group stages, where we might have a longer period to recover as you get through the competition.”

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Previewing the game, the boss added: “Tomorrow’s game will be very different to the first match. They are a team that press the ball really well.

“With respect, a level of player which has experience of playing in top European leagues. In terms of tomorrow it is not going to be a game in the pattern of the previous one.”

While news of Kane’s improvement is welcome news for England fans, the prognosis at this World Cup continues to be bleak for James Maddison. The Leicester playmaker was again absent from Three Lions training on Thursday, and instead worked on his fitness inside.

The 26-year-old is suffering from a knee injury sustained in the 2-0 win over West Ham United, played just days before Southgate surprisingly named him in his 26-player party. Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips continue to train with the group, but they may have to watch on once more given the nature of England’s convincing win over Iran.



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