Latest whispers on whether England will play or rest Harry Kane against Belgium

Harry Kane is set to start against Belgium and keep up his chase for the World Cup ’s Golden Boot.

England boss Gareth Southgate admitted Kane is desperate to play in Kaliningrad on Thursday night and that he is vital to the Three Lions’ chances of winning the Group G decider.

Elsewhere, Full-back Danny Rose could come into the line-up, while Southgate may also be keen to give striker Marcus Rashford an outing.

Kyle Walker is on a yellow card and fellow centre-back Harry Maguire has been nursing a knock. In midfield, Dele Alli’s opening-game thigh injury may again not be risked.

But it is understood Southgate will not make wholesale changes to his line-up as he does not want to risk losing momentum after winning their first two group games.

Southgate said: “He (Kane) is the captain and he knows he will be judged on how far we go as a team. He wants to contribute to a winning team and he knows it is not as satisfying if you are a player scoring goals and the team does not win.

“His scoring record of goals per game is outstanding. He has shown his value to us already both before the tournament and now during the tournament I know he is incredibly proud already.

“He is only behind Gary Lineker in terms of World Cup goals for England and that is a wonderful personal achievement for him.

“As a manager you have to think of the whole squad and then your second thought is for individuals and their own situations and that is a really complex balance in any business where you are managing people but I am sure we can get that right.”

Southgate reckons his team is about more than just football, because it represents “modern England.”

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The manager told ITV he felt England had got a “bit lost” after recent disappointments in tournaments, crashing out of the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and then losing to tiny Iceland in the first knockout round at Euro 2016.

Southgate said: “That’s one of the most important things for me, if we are managing to do that. We have the chance to affect something bigger than ourselves.

“We are a team, with our diversity and with our youth, that represents modern England.

“In England, we’ve spent a bit of time being a bit lost as to what our modern identity is and I think as a team we represent that modern identity, and hopefully people can connect with us.”

Should England rest Harry Kane against Belgium?


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