England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed that captain Harry Kane will be available for Friday’s World Cup clash with the USA.
England’s captain suffered a blow to his right ankle in the second half of Monday’s 6-2 win over Iran and continued playing for 25 minutes before being substituted after 76 minutes and subjected to an inquest to determine the severity of the injury.
In conversation with itvSouthgate said: “He’s good. He worked a bit more individually today but he will be back in the team tomorrow and all is well for the game.
“We just checked him out to see. I think sometimes when you’re dealing with things it’s important to know exactly what’s there, and that was all good.
“It’s not so much the ankle, it’s more the foot. It was really a weak challenge, but I think it’s one that luckily we got off pretty lightly.
“I was [holding my breath] when he went on the pitch, but when he kept playing everything was fine.”
The update followed Jordan Pickford’s admission that Kane had been training with the rest of the squad on Wednesday.
“I think he’s good, maybe a bit sore, but he’s on the pitch with us today. He’s fine, yes,” said the keeper.
Maguire starts against the USA
Harry Maguire starts tomorrow for England against the USA and is expected to win his 50th cap.
Maguire, a controversial starting XI in England’s opening win over Iran, produced one of his surest performances of the season.
He hit the bar early with a header and then earned an assist for Bukayo Saka’s first goal.
There were concerns about Maguire’s fitness for the second game of Group B after he was sidelined by illness against Iran.
But he has since recovered and fully participated in English training.
England team-mate Jordan Pickford, meanwhile, has jumped to Maguire’s defense after a slew of criticism and a lack of playing time for Manchester United this season.
“He needs to be respected a lot more, but every footballer is criticized. I think that’s a bit unfair. His performances on the pitch showed how good he is.”
“He was incredible. He was really good the other night, got an assist and maybe could have given us a penalty with that VAR decision that went against us.
“I have a great relationship with him. Most of my camps had Harry before me and he is in a very good place now.”
Souness: Kane had to be saved from himself
Sky Sports’ Graeme Souness speaks on ITV:
“I watch England with the head of a manager and when I see the challenge I think, ‘This boy has a history with his ankles’.
“He stayed down a bit, he wasn’t right, he went on it cautiously. I thought ‘he has to come down now’. That happened in the 48th minute and he walked away in the 75th minute. He had 27 minutes to walk on that ankle.
“Some players need saving from themselves. He’s a goalscorer. He thinks, ‘There are goals in this game against Iran and I’m going to keep at it’. I think that’s a mistake.”
“I think the manager should have fired him straight away, you’re three-zero up at that point too. You don’t have to risk Harry anymore.
“I wrote about this competition before I came here and I think England could do very, very well as long as Harry scores a lot of goals. I’m not sure when they play against real teams who else will win goals.
“I see it as something that was avoidable and I think that’s up to the coach because a player who wants to be the top scorer in this competition will act selfishly in that situation. He needs to be saved from himself.” there.
“He should have started straight away. It should have been on ice and in an elevated position straight away.”