Kane fit but England wary of World Cup upset against US

25 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
Kane fit but England wary of World Cup upset against US Harry Kane

The Herald

DOHA. — England captain Harry Kane will be fit to play in tonight’s FIFA World Cup match against the United States, says manager Gareth Southgate.

The striker injured his ankle early in the second half of Monday’s opening 6-2 victory over Iran in Group B and was later substituted.

“Harry is fine. He has worked slightly separately from the group but all good for Friday night (tonight),” said Southgate.

“He had a scan (on Wednesday) to make sure everything is fine.”

Tottenham’s Kane has scored 51 goals in 76 appearances for the Three Lions, two behind Wayne Rooney’s record of 53.

Meanwhile, Manchester United defender Harry Maguire is feeling “much better” after also being substituted on Monday.

“He was feeling ill and that was affecting his vision,” Southgate told BBC Sport. “You worry about concussion in that instant, but we were going back through all the footage and there is nothing, so he is in a good area.”

Defender Kyle Walker has stepped up his training and is available to play on Friday for what would be his first match since groin surgery in October.

Forward Callum Wilson did not train in a light session with the rest of the substitutes at England’s Al Wakrah training base on Wednesday, but is not considered a fitness doubt.

Midfielder James Maddison, who missed the Iran match because of a knee issue, also did not train.

England will qualify for the last 16 if they beat the United States and Southgate added: “We would like to get qualification done as soon as possible.

“The first objective is to get out of the group.

“We would love to do that on Friday, but the game won’t be anything like Monday.

“We have to make sure we are back to the psychological place we were at the start because the States will be an athletic team, press really well, be organised, well coached.

“They have quite a few players we know from the Premier League and they showed in the first half against Wales the best side of themselves.

“Monday was a great start and it is that reset to be ready for Friday.”

England scored six goals in their opening World Cup game against Iran, but it was the two they conceded that concern coach Southgate and provide hope for the United States.

“By the end we looked sloppy,” said Southgate of the 6-2 win over Iran on Monday. He also warned the US would be coming “full-throttle” in tonight’s Group B match.

The tournament has already produced some shocking results, including Saudi Arabia’s win against Argentina and Japan’s upset over Germany.

A win for the US over England would not be on the scale of Saudi Arabia’s win – but Gregg Berhalter’s team are undoubtedly the underdog against one of the tournament favourites.

The two goals conceded against Iran gave Southgate something to focus on in an otherwise encouraging performance.

His message to the players has been clear: They will need to be better against the US team that tied 1-1 with Wales in their opening group game.

“They’re a top nation with a lot of top players who have played in the English Premier League and who we’ve come up against,” said England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. “But it’s about us as a squad being 100%. It’s about us taking the result from Iran and going into the US game positive.” One of those English Premier League players is Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic, a point of focus for England’s defence. — BBC Sport/AP.

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