Bullish Harry Kane says World Cup can be his first trophy


They breezed through qualification, collecting 28 from a possible 30 points and scoring 43 goals in the process, and will be confident of opening their account in style.

The game kicks off at 9pm local time and don't be surprised if there are one or two bleary-eyed England players taking to the field.

Many supporters argue the extra burden of the captaincy is a pressure Kane could do without given his terrible form at the last major tournament for England despite his phenomenal goalscoring feats for Spurs since.

"We grew up playing each other quite a lot and I was at Sheffield United with Kyle".

Southgate was taking charge of his country for only the second time, and on an interim basis, when he made a decision to axe the Three Lions' record goalscorer for a World Cup qualifier in Slovenia in October 2016 - a move which proved he was "not to be messed with". Sometimes those good people following us are overlooked at the expense of some of the guys who have caused problems in the past.

With few expecting England to end 52 years of hurt this summer, England boss Gareth Southgate and his players have the rare luxury of setting out under far less pressure than usual.

The 27-year-old performed well against Costa Rica in a recent friendly before departing for Russian Federation and said nobody is taking anything for granted.

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Results under Martinez have been excellent - Belgium haven't lost since he took over - but there is a sense that this tournament represents their best chance at World Cup glory.

Southgate said: "When I have been at World Cups before, whether working with the media or following the games scouting, there is a kind of carnival of football out there that sometimes as a player you don't access and don't feel part of".

"But some of the preparation for the Euros I would have liked to do differently, especially for the Iceland game". I think we've done the same with Tunisia as we would for Brazil. There can be no excuses, no arguments.

Southgate was promoted from the under-21 set-up to guide England through qualifying when Sam Allardyce's short reign was ended after just one game in charge.

"We wanted to get the right balance around the location in terms of travel, in terms of climate, and the quality of the training ground that is paired with that".

'I think that system will come back around again soon, though.

But some questioned the likeness, saying "is that really Harry Kane?".