With less than 3 months till the start of the World Cup campaign, the Three Lions’s coach Gareth Southgate says picking England 23-roster for Russia is a “complex minefield”. England are drawn in Group G and they kick-off their World Cup campaign on June 18th against Tunisia, before further group stage fixtures with Panama and Belgium in the days that follow.
As part of their World Cup preparations, England will face two of Europe’s finest, the Netherlands on March 23rd and Italy at the Wembley Stadium on March 27th and just before traveling to Russia they will play against Nigeria and Costa Rica at the start of June.
Tottenham’s superstar Harry Kane who scored 35 goals for his club this season leading the Premier League top scorer chart with 24 goals netted in 30 EPL rounds injured his right ankle in Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Bournemouth in a collision with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Losing Kane at this stage of the season is a huge blow and without him, both Tottenham and England may struggle in the next period of time as he is ruled out for at least 90 days.
Kane was out for 10 games the last term with a comparable injury to the same right ankle so normally he should be fully fit and help Tottenham achieve their objectives this season and travel to Russia with his national squad.
Gareth Southgate has named a 27-player squad for the friendly matches next week including 4 strikers who are all playing the English Premier League: Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck and of course Manchester City’ Raheem Sterling. Welbeck has only played 8 Premier League games this term, netting just three goals in the process. Southgate declared that the Three Lions must be prepared to cope with Harry Kane’s absence, but it will be very difficult to find the perfect replacement for a player with his talent and skills. Brighton striker Glenn Murray, the 4th highest-scoring Englishman in the English top-flight league behind Kane, Sterling, and Vardy might be a good solution for Southgate but he will never play at Kane’s level.
Both, the club and the player are confident and claim he will return to training at the end of April, but the question is how well he will be prepared for the World Cup or if he will be 100% fit are ready to perform at a top level.
For the bookies, Harry Kane remains one of the World Cup top scorer favorites being priced at +1750 with WilliamHill.