Harry Kane and Harry Maguire are fit and raring to go for England’s crucial World Cup clash against the USA… as Gareth Southgate admits it’d be a ‘brave decision’ to leave out the duo
Harry Kane and Harry Maguire are fit and raring to go for England’s crucial World Cup clash against the USA on Friday night after recovering from injury and illness.
The duo have handed a major boost to manager Gareth Southgate who insisted the pair will be available on Thursday.
England captain Kane went for a scan after taking a blow to his ankle against Iran on Monday but was cleared to resume training on Wednesday.
Gareth Southgate says it would be a ‘brave decision’ if he didn’t start Harry Kane against USA
Southgate suggested Kane will start after coming through training without any problems
Southgate said: ‘Harry’s good, he came through training with no problems — it would be a brave decision to leave him out of the starting team. He’s in a good space. Definitely.
‘We managed him a little bit last week through training because of the load he has had so we’re always conscious of that. Some players need a little bit more training, some might do half a session, it depends on what their individual load has been.
‘Some haven’t played as much football and need pushing a bit more at times so we’re always individually preparing that.’
Maguire is also ready to start in an unchanged side tonight after recovering from an illness that saw him substituted against Iran.
There was concern the defender was suffering from concussion but a thorough investigation from England medics and FIFA — who have analysed numerous camera angles — ensured he had not taken a blow to the head.
Kane was seen running around with his team-mates and passing the ball without any issues
The images will be reassuring for the England fans after Kane’s fitness was in doubt
‘We think an element of that was dehydration,’ said Southgate. ‘Because of the awareness of concussion we’ve checked back through all of that really diligently and FIFA have as well, because it’s one of the key things from their medical department in this tournament. There’s no evidence of that but you still want to check that because he was feeling unwell and why was that?’
James Maddison again did not train with the rest of the squad.
Southgate also confirmed that the FA have been in contact with FIFA over their concerns about VAR in the 6-2 win over Iran.
There were concerns about Kane after he suffered a knock to his ankle in the game against Iran
Southgate is expecting a very different test against the United States than against Iran
Maguire was denied a penalty after being rugby tackled by Rouzbeh Cheshmi in the first half, but Iran were awarded one via VAR later on after John Stones was caught slightly pulling striker Morteza Pouraliganji’s shirt.
The England camp were angered by the decision not to award a penalty for the Maguire incident — particularly after an incident in the box involving Kalvin Phillips, from England’s 5-0 win over Albania last November, was used as an example of foul play in a video shown to officials before the World Cup. This had led to fears England would be unfairly targeted by referees in Qatar.
The FA have filed a report to FIFA and await their response.
Stones said: ‘We sat in a refereeing meeting before the tournament and told certain things and my frustration is when those don’t get backed up. That’s difficult because we try to adapt our game to the way they want to ref things. I understand they have a super-difficult job nowadays with all the cameras but there has to be a bit of clarity.’