Gareth Southgate hints Harry Kane’s starting decision has been made

Gareth Southgate has suggested he is ready to start Harry Kane in Friday’s England v United States clash after the Tottenham striker passes a fitness test.

Kane was sent for a scan after appearing to roll his ankle in the Three Lions’ opening match against Iran, but the results are positive and it is believed there are no concerns about his condition.

Asked for a final update on Kane ahead of the game, Southgate went so far as to suggest he start the striker.

“Harry Kane is good. He came through the tests with no problems,” Southgate told reporters. It would be a brave decision to leave him out of the squad.

“All teams have the same recovery period. It’s a little shorter than previous tournaments. Only we will only benefit if we get through the group stage, where we may have a longer period to recover as you get through the competition.”

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Looking ahead to the game, the boss added: “Tomorrow’s game will be very different from the first game. They are a team that pushes the ball very well.

“With all due respect, a player of a level who has experience playing in European top competitions. For tomorrow it will not be a match in the pattern of the previous one.”

While news of Kane’s improvement is welcome news for England fans, the prognosis for this World Cup remains bleak for James Maddison. The Leicester playmaker was again absent from Three Lions training on Thursday and instead worked on his fitness.

The 26-year-old is suffering from a knee injury sustained in the 2-0 win over West Ham United just days before Southgate surprisingly named him in his 26-man squad. Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips continue to train with the group, but they may have to watch again given the nature of England’s convincing victory over Iran.

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