Harry Kane has stressed the importance of England’s (11/2 2022 World Cup Outright) upcoming run of games in the Nations League as they look to build momentum ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
The Three Lions have just six fixtures to play before they take to the field against Iran at the World Cup on November 21 in Qatar.
Saturday’s Group A3 Nations League fixture against Hungary, which gets underway at 17:00 (Match Betting – Hungary 15/2, Draw 7/2, England 4/9), is the first of four games in the space of 10 days, while they are set for a further two outings in the same competition in September.
Gareth Southgate will likely know the nucleus of his squad and starting XI ahead of the winter showpiece but there are still spots up for grabs.
Kane, barring injury, will undoubtedly be in the XI to face Iran but he insists it is important for the whole squad to try and stake a claim over the next 10 days.
“Every training session is really important. Every game you play is really important. The reason we’ve been so good as a team the past four or five years is the competition for places, people pushing each other in every area, in training and in games,” Kane said.
“It’s four games in a short period of time. I’m sure there will be rotation among the squad. There will be opportunities for players to come in and try to impress the manager.
“I feel like we’ve created a culture here where in every game, in every training session, everyone is ready to go and give it everything. There are some great opportunities out there.
“It’s six more games before the World Cup so there is not a lot of time to prepare. It comes around quick, so we’ve got to be ready for every opportunity.”
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Kane (5/6 to score anytime) also has history in his sights as he trails England’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney by just four goals.
“I’d love to break it as soon as possible,” the Tottenham player said of the record. “I’d like to score as many goals as possible in the next four games.”
England (6/1 2022/23 Nations League Outright) will step out onto the field at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on Saturday unbeaten in 22 games in normal time, winning 18 and conceding just six goals – their longest ever unbeaten streak.
They can also take confidence from their recent meetings with the Magyars, having avoided defeat in the last 15 encounters.
Southgate has already confirmed that Manchester City ace Phil Foden won’t be involved after testing positive for Covid-19, while there are also concerns over the fitness of Fikayo Tomori, Marc Guehi and Raheem Sterling.
“[Foden] has had to leave but hopefully he’ll be able to meet up when we get back from Germany,” said Southgate.
“Fikayo [Tomori] and Marc Guehi arrived with injuries but are progressing well. They won’t be involved tomorrow but they have a chance against Germany.
“Raheem Sterling has missed a couple of days with illness and he is touch and go, but everybody else is fully fit.”
Also in Group A3 on Saturday, Italy welcome Germany to the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara in Bologna for a 19:45 kick off (Match Betting – Italy 23/10, Draw 5/2, Germany 6/5).
Italy will be eager to bounce back after losing 3-0 to Argentina in La Finalissima on Wednesday, while Germany are unbeaten in nine games (winning eight) since losing to England in the last-16 at Euro 2020.
Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland are also in action and they’ll be keen to build on their eight-game unbeaten run when they head to Armenia at 14:00 (Match Betting – Armenia 4/1, Draw 5/2, Republic of Ireland 4/5).
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