England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed captain Harry Kane will be fit for Friday’s World Cup clash with the USA.
The England captain picked up a knock on his right ankle in the second half of Monday’s 6-2 win over Iran and was replaced after 76 minutes after playing 25 minutes and underwent scans to determine the severity of the injury.
Sky Sports News Southgate is expected to name an unchanged starting line-up for tomorrow’s World Cup Group B clash with the USA after their 6-2 win over Iran.
Southgate said in his pre-match press conference against the USA: “Harry is fine. It would be brave to leave him out!”
The update comes after Jordan Pickford admitted Kane trained with the rest of the squad on Wednesday. I think he’s fine, maybe a little sore, but he’s on the grass with us today. He is good, yes,” said the goalkeeper.
Maguire will face the US
Harry Maguire faces England and USA tomorrow and is on the verge of winning his 50th cap.
A controversial choice for the starting XI in England’s opening day win against Iran, Maguire produced his most confident performance of the season. He headed home and then assisted Bukayo Saka’s first goal.
There were concerns about Maguire’s fitness for the Group B second leg after he was forced out of the game against Iran due to illness. But he has now recovered and is fully involved in England training.
“I was dissatisfied with my arrival [against Iran]”I felt bad in the second half, we did everything we could, two days of training and I feel better,” Maguire said. I’m ready to go tomorrow.
“My 50th cap will be a really proud moment for me. I’ve had some amazing memories. Every time I put the shirt on, it’s a very proud moment.
“Scoring in the quarter-finals of the World Cup and the Euros, reaching the semi-finals, reaching the final: there were so many memories.
“There are still a lot of players on my debut and still there. I’ve played a lot of games with John Stones and he’s been there almost every game I’ve been in.”
Southgate: We don’t appreciate Stones and Maguire until they’re gone
Southgate has jumped to the defense of Maguire, who has been criticized for his form after losing his place in the Manchester United starting line-up.
The England manager paid particular tribute to Maguire’s full-back partnership with Stones, with the defensive duo serving as a mainstay in his team during his tenure.
“We wanted to build our team to play from the back,” Southgate said. “Harry and John Stones built that amazing venue.
“Until they’re gone, we won’t appreciate that consistency. They can defend well. They know each other’s games and fight for each other. They pride themselves on keeping clean sheets, but they need to come alive!
“Harry’s 50th cap is well deserved. He’s played a big part in two big tournaments and we’re hoping for a third.”
Commenting on the criticism, Maguire added: “As a footballer nobody likes to be criticized but it’s part of the game. Cristiano [Ronaldo] the best player to ever kick football and he is criticized every day.
“He’s criticized every day, so it happens to all of us. We have to go to training, you can do your best.”
Earlier this week, goalkeeper Pickford gave Maguire a vote of confidence. “He should be given more respect, but every footballer is criticized. I think it’s a bit unfair. His performance on the pitch showed how good he is.
“He was fantastic. He was really good last night, got an assist and maybe got us a penalty with the VAR decision against us.
“I’ve got on well with him. I’ve had Harry in front of me in most of my camps and he’s in a really good place now.”
Souness: Kane needed saving from himself
Speaking on ITV, Sky Sports’ Graham Souness said:
“I watch the England manager head up and when I see the challenge, I think, ‘this kid has history with his feet.’
“He’s down a little bit, he’s walking wrong, he’s walking. I’m thinking ‘he’s got to come off now’. It was in the 48th minute and he was out in the 75th minute. 27 minutes running with that leg.
“Some players have to save themselves. He’s a goalscorer. He’s thinking, ‘Goals against Iran and I’ll stay’. I think that’s a mistake.
“I think the manager should have fired him right away, and you were three-nil at the time.” There was no need to risk Harry anymore.
“I wrote about this competition before I got here and I think England can do really, really well if Harry scores a lot of goals. I don’t know when they’re playing the right teams or who’s going to get more goals.
“So I see it as something that can be avoided and it’s about this manager for me, because a player who wants to be the top scorer in this competition is being selfish in that situation. He needs to save himself. There.
“He should have taken off immediately. He should have been on the ice and in a high position immediately.”