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  Sports   Football  05 Oct 2017  England bank on Harry Kane for Russia Berth

England bank on Harry Kane for Russia Berth

AFP
Published : Oct 5, 2017, 4:53 am IST
Updated : Oct 5, 2017, 4:53 am IST

Southgate said he had not decided who will captain the team against Lithuania.

England’s Harry Kane at training in London on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)
 England’s Harry Kane at training in London on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)

London: England will look to red-hot Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane to fire them to the World Cup finals when they tackle Slovenia in their penultimate qualifying match on Thursday. After a barren August, 24-year-old Kane hit brilliant form in September, scoring 13 goals in eight matches for club and country.

Victory over Slovenia at Wembley will give England a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia and with Kane scoring goals so freely, his team mates will take to the field buoyed by an extra measure of belief.

And Kane appears close to becoming Wayne Rooney’s successor as permanent England skipper after being handed the captain’s armband for Thursday’s qualifier by manager Gareth Southgate.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker, 24, captained England against Scotland and France at the end of last season, with Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson taking on the captaincy against Malta and Slovakia last month.

Southgate has rotated the armband between Kane, Henderson and Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill in recent months after Rooney lost his place as a regular starter. Rooney has since retired from international football.

Kane’s Spurs team mate Dele Alli will miss the game against Slovenia after being given a one-game ban by Fifa for making a middle-finger gesture during last month’s 2-1 win over Slovakia. England require two points from their final two qualifying games, against Slovenia at Wembley and away to Lithuania on Sunday, to secure a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Southgate said he had not decided who will captain the team against Lithuania. “He is hot, isn’t he?” goalkeeper Joe Hart said earlier this week. “He is scoring just as many goals as the people we have related to as world-class and he has been doing it for many seasons. Harry gets put in that bracket and deserves to be.”    

Tags: harry kane, tottenham hotspur