Harry Kane and Harry Maguire are fresh and ready for England’s World Cup decider against USA… as Gareth Southgate admits it would be a ‘brave decision’ to leave the duo out
Harry Kane and Harry Maguire are fit and ready for England’s World Cup decider against the USA on Friday night after recovering from injury and illness.
The duo have provided a major boost to manager Gareth Southgate, who insisted the pair will be available on Thursday.
England captain Kane went for a scan after picking up 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’ not to start Harry Kane against USA
Southgate suggested Kane will start after coming through training without any problems
Southgate said: ‘Harry is good, he came through training without any problems – it would be a brave decision to leave him out of the starting team. He is in a good place. Definitely.
‘We managed him a bit last week through training because of the strain he’s had, so we’re always aware of that. Some players need a little more training, some might do half a session, it depends on their individual load.
“Some haven’t played that much football and need to push a bit more at times, so we always prepare it individually.”
Maguire is also set to start in an unchanged team tonight after recovering from an illness that saw him substituted against Iran.
There were concerns the defender was suffering from concussion, but a thorough examination by England doctors and FIFA – which analyzed numerous camera angles – ensured he had not suffered a blow to the head.
Kane was seen running around with his teammates and passing the ball without any problems
The images will be reassuring to England fans after Kane’s fitness was in doubt
“We think an element of it was dehydration,” Southgate said. “Because of concussion awareness, we’ve checked all that thoroughly, and so has FIFA, because it’s one of the most important things from their medical department in this tournament. There’s no evidence of that, but you want still checking it because he felt bad and why was that?’
James Maddison again did not train with the rest of the squad.
Southgate also confirmed that the FA has been in contact with FIFA over their concerns about VAR in the 6-2 win over Iran.
There were concerns about Kane after he sprained his ankle in the match against Iran
Southgate expects a completely different test against the USA 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 tugging on 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 that England would be unfairly targeted by referees in Qatar.
The FA has submitted a report to FIFA and is awaiting their response.
Stones said: ‘We sat in a referees meeting before the tournament and said certain things and my frustration is when they are not backed up. It’s hard because we try to adapt our game to the way they want to judge things. I understand they have a super-hard job today with all the cameras, but there needs to be some clarity.’