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Gareth Southgate admits it would be brave to skip Harry Kane against USA

Gareth Southgate admits he would have to be a brave man to let Harry Kane out of his team to face the United States after the England captain trained following an injury scare.

Kane had his foot scanned after a tough challenge during England’s opening World Cup win over Iran on Monday.

He played for 25 minutes before being replaced by Callum Wilson but was then given a precautionary check after leaving the stadium with a light bandage on his foot.

The Tottenham striker trained at England’s Al Wakrah training base on both Wednesday and Thursday and Southgate announced he is fit to face the USA at Al Bayt Stadium on Friday night.

When asked if Kane would be on the team, Southgate replied, “Harry is fine.

“He came through training without any problems, so yes, it would be a brave decision to leave him out of the starting XI!”

Having Kane available could be crucial for England, who started the tournament with a 6-2 win over Iran.

But having met USA twice in previous tournaments, England are still without a win.

The defeat in 1950 is still considered to be the biggest upset at a World Cup of all time, and in 2010 the nations drew 1-1.

Southgate wants his players to make history by changing that record and claims England often talk about their achievements with no real results to back it up.

“Have we ever beat the States in a major tournament? No, I didn’t think so,” he added.

“Tomorrow we must try to make history, number one. We’re good at that, we’re good at talking up ourselves as a nation on the basis of very little evidence.

“So what we have to do is play on the field and we know we’re going to play against a highly motivated side, but we have a lot of respect for our opponent.”

If England win, that would qualify them for the Round of 16 and would be enough to seal promotion as Group B winners should Iran and Wales play a draw earlier on Friday.

Southgate is looking to go one better than last summer’s European Championships, where England lost the final on penalties to Italy, three years after reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He believes his players will put the nation back on the footballing map after such progress.

“We believe we can be competitive for years to come and that really has to be the goal, to have a sustained challenge in the latter stages of the big competitions, we haven’t done that in years,” he added.

“These players really put our country on the map. They are regaining our seriousness on the world stage and we need to keep doing that.”

One player who could have been a part of Southgate’s current harvest but would slip through the net is Yunus Musah. Musah, 19, has pledged his international allegiance to the United States after representing England Under-19s in October 2020.

He played in friendlies for the United States senior team the following month, choosing to play for his native country rather than stay with England.

When asked what US coach Gregg Berhalter has done that has impressed him, Southgate added: “Well, firstly, they’ve been very proactive in recruitment, if you will, in identifying talent – obviously they’ve got one of taken from us, but we weren’t very happy about that, fair game!

“It was a strange situation with Yunus because he was in our U19 and we got into the pandemic and lockdown so it wasn’t possible to travel and see games so he was a player that I wasn’t at that point a lot had contact with in the youth teams.

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