Southgate “ready to name unchanged lineup” for US game; English star is ‘handled with care’

Southgate “ready to name unchanged lineup” for US game;  English star is ‘handled with care’

Gareth Southgate will reportedly “name an unchanged line-up” for England’s World Cup group stage match against the United States on Friday night.

The Three Lions got their World Cup off to a flying start by beating Iran in their Group B opener.

Bukayo Saka scored a brace in the 6-2 win. The other goalscorers were Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish.

England are now favorites to finish top of the group, as the United States drew 1-1 with Wales on Monday.

Southgate’s side go into Friday’s match against the United States and need a win to secure a place in the knockout stages of the World Cup.

The Athletic report that the England manager is “ready to appoint an unchanged starting XI to take on the United States”.

It was initially feared that England would be without Harry Kane. Earlier this week, he underwent an ankle scan after being at the end of a rash challenge in the win against Iran.

But Kane was fit enough to train on Wednesday and it has since been confirmed that he is fit enough to start for England against the United States.

When asked about Kane on Thursday, Southgate said: “Harry is fine. He arrived in training without any problems, so it would have been a brave decision to leave him out of the starting squad.

“We just checked it, just to see. I think sometimes when dealing with things it’s important to know exactly what’s on and that was all right.

“It’s not so much the ankle. It’s more the foot. It was a really bad challenge, but I think luckily we got off quite lightly.

Harry Maguire is also available to start after feeling ill in the win against Iran. The defender performed well before being sent off in the second half.

The Man Utd captain told reporters: “I didn’t feel well in the second half but we have a great medical department.

“I did all the tests and since then I have felt good. I’ve been on the training ground for the last couple of days and feel good and ready to go.

The Athletic note that England have several fit players who could come on as a substitute.

Callum Wilson was among the players who entered earlier this week. The Newcastle star has been in fine form this season, but was absent from training on Tuesday.

The report adds: “England are believed to be managing the 30-year-old’s workload carefully following his return from a hamstring injury earlier this season.”

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