England set to name unchanged starting XI to face USA, with Kane fit to start


England manager Gareth Southgate is set to name an unchanged line-up for the World Cup game against the
United States on Friday, with Harry Kane fit to start.

Southgate decided to hand Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham their first World Cup starts in England’s first match of the tournament, and was rewarded with a thrilling 6-2 victory over Iran.

The pair both found the target — Bellingham opened the scoring before Saka struck twice — alongside Raheem Sterling and second-half substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish.

Kane, England’s captain, is poised to lead the line despite having a scan on his right foot following a challenge during the Iran game.

The 29-year-old was able to train with his team-mates on Wednesday and Southgate subsequently declared the Tottenham Hotspur forward was available for Friday’s encounter.

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire is also set to retain his place in England’s starting XI, for what will be his 50th international appearance.

There had been some question marks over the 29-year-old’s participation after he was replaced in the second half of the Iran win after complaining of illness.

Maguire, however, made clear he was fit to play against the USMNT in a press conference on Thursday.

“Obviously it was disappointing to have to come off the pitch,” he said.

“I felt unwell in the second half but we have a great medical department. I have done all the tests and felt well since. I have been on the training pitch over the last couple of days and I feel good and ready to go.”

It is anticipated Southgate will keep the back four which worked so well on Monday, with Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw playing either side of Maguire and John Stones.

Bellingham is expected to partner Declan Rice in midfield, with Mason Mount, Saka and Sterling played behind Kane.
England have a number of in-form options to turn to from the bench, with Rashford and Grealish already making an impact as substitutes.

Eric Dier, Phil Foden and Callum Wilson were also introduced. Wilson was absent from an on-field training session on Tuesday, with England believed to be carefully managing the 30-year-old’s workload after a return from a hamstring injury earlier this season.

England sit top of Group B and will secure progression to the knockout stage if they beat the US, who were held by Wales in their opening fixture.

(Photo: Getty Images)


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