England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed that captain Harry Kane is fit enough to take part in Friday’s clash against the USA, as reported by Sky Sports. The star striker suffered an ankle injury following a heavy tackle from Iranian defender, Morteza Pouraliganji, in England’s opening match against Iran. The Tottenham Hotspur forward underwent a scan following the game, raising questions as to whether the Three Lions would be without their captain for the game against USA.
Harry Kane Ready to Play Following Injury Scare
England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed captain Harry Kane will be available for Friday's World Cup clash with the USA. 🏴 pic.twitter.com/5fUOXRgXyb
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 24, 2022
Relief for England
Harry Kane has largely been injury-free since his thigh muscle rupture in March 2020. However, he has a history of injuring his ankle which once put him at a risk of missing the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Fans could be forgiven for being slightly alarmed at the sight of the striker clutching his ankle in light of his previous struggles with ankle injuries.
Kane received treatment in the 48th minute of England’s 6-2 victory against Iran on Monday. The 29-year old striker then played on till the 75th minute after which he was replaced by Newcastle United striker, Callum Wilson. Kane failed to get his name on the scoresheet but he did provide two assists for teammates, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford, before being subbed off.
The forward was later seen with light strapping and a slight limp. England manager Gareth Southgate later played down any concerns regarding Kane’s fitness. “I think Harry’s fine. It looked like a bad tackle but he carried on in the game. We took him off because we felt it was a moment in the game we could do that,” the England boss said in his post-match press conference.
However, following Wednesday’s scan on his ankle and some training it appears that Kane will be ready to go for the clash with USA. Southgate said the following about his captain in an interview with ITV: “He’s good. He’s worked a little bit more individually today, but he’ll be back in with the team tomorrow and all good for the game.”
Southgate’s Attacking Options
With news that Kane is fit and ready to play, it’s likely that he will lead the line for the Three Lions in their Group B clash against USA. The 75-cap forward will be looking for his first goal of the tournament as he looks to be the first ever player to win back-to-back Golden Boot trophies in World Cup competitions.
However, should Southgate choose to play it safe with England’s star-man, the manager is not short on attacking options that could deputise for the Spurs forward if needed. Callum Wilson would seem like the obvious choice and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford is also capable of playing through the middle for the Three Lions. The pair have scored a combined tally of 10 goals for their respective clubs this season and Rashford displayed his finishing ability with a goal against Iran. Manchester City’s Phil Foden is also capable of being employed as a false-9 should Southgate need it.
Although with Kane fit it’s hard to envisage a line-up where the 51-goal forward isn’t leading the line when the squad faces the USA on Friday.
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