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England striker Harry Kane will start his side’s final Euro 2020 group game against the Czech Republic, manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed.
The Tottenham striker, 27, failed to have a shot on target in England’s win over Croatia and draw with Scotland.
But Southgate said his captain will start again at Wembley on Tuesday.
“You can assume that, yes, absolutely,” he said. “He is fundamental not only to the goals he scores but the build-up play and everything else he brings.”
Kane is England’s talisman, winning the World Cup Golden Boot in 2018, and headed into this tournament having finished with the most goals and assists of any player in the Premier League last season (23 and 14, respectively).
“I know there will be a lot of questions being asked about him at the moment but he has been through that 100 times before and I have answered that in this role several times in the past,” Southgate added.
“He has come up with the goals that have won us the next games and I expect that to be the same moving forward. He is our most important player.”
We need to create chances for him – Trippier
England full-back Kieran Tripper is confident his former Tottenham team-mate will rediscover his goalscoring touch at the tournament.
“I believe in Harry,” said the Atletico Madrid defender. “He works so hard for the team and people might not recognise what he does off the ball.
“Harry’s chances will come and, for sure, he will score goals.”
Kane has 34 goals in 56 games for England, but his difficult start to Euro 2020 continued against Scotland as he managed just 19 touches before being substituted on 74 minutes.
“Harry has had an unbelievable season with Spurs,” added Trippier. “He is working hard in training and it is about getting the chances to him.
“He is our captain, our leader, a big player for us and we just need to get him on the end of chances.”
England midfielder Phil Foden added: “I don’t think he looks tired. I just don’t think we’ve created enough chances for him so it’s not been his fault.
“Harry’s one of the best in the world so we just need to trust him and stick behind him.
“He’s the best in the penalty area, but teams aren’t stupid. They know what they need to do to stop him and Scotland put a lot of men around him. It was difficult for him and it happens to everyone.”
‘Everyone is feeling good and calm’
So far at Euro 2020, England have been limited to one goal – Raheem Sterling’s winner against Croatia – and only three shots on target in their two matches.
However, the four points earned in Group D puts them in a strong position to qualify, which they will do as group winners if they beat the Czech Republic.
A draw would see them finish second, and they will only finish third if they lose and Scotland win against Croatia by enough to overtake them on overall goal difference.
“Two clean sheets, four points on the board, we know we can do better but we are on four points, in a good position,” added Trippier.
“Everyone is feeling good and calm and everyone is looking forward to the Czech Republic on Tuesday.
“We are in a good position. We have to look forward to Tuesday and get the three points.”