LONDON/SEVILLE: England need Harry Kane to regain his goal touch for his country as they head into the Nations League visit to Spain in Seville and he heads for another confrontation with Sergio Ramos.
Gareth Southgate’s team have taken only one point from their first two matches. They lost at home to Spain then drew 0-0 against Croatia in an empty stadium in Rijeka in a tie which should have seen England avenge their defeat in the World Cup semi-final in Moscow.
Kane and Tottenham clubmate Eric Dier heading against the posts either side of halftime and Marcus Rashford missed badly twice when he had only goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic to beat.
Southgate said: “The first half was pretty even but in the second half we dictated the flow of the game and our performance was excellent. I couldn’t have asked more of the players and I am pleased with the chances we created. We just have to make sure we finish them, which on another day we will.”
Whether that day is tonight depends on Kane whose performance will be watched intently by Spanish fans believing that one day, sooner or later, he will be playing for one of the giants of LaLiga.
Kane was six-goal top scorer at the World Cup but has now gone six games for his country without a goal to add to his overall total of ?? in ?? internationals. This is his longest ‘empty’ spell at senior international level. Kane’s last England goal was in the 1:1 draw with Colombia in the World Cup second round which they eventually won on penalties.
England are short on creative playmakers so they depend heavily on Kane’s ability to bludgeon his own path through opposing defences. He did put the ball in the net but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Kane said: “”It’s been tough after the World Cup, not getting much rest, but I think I’ve dealt with it well. I’ve stayed fit and stayed healthy. That was my main priority at the start of the season. Now it’s building on that and pushing forward over the winter.
“I set a standard for myself and I want to reach that standard every game I play. I don’t think my game has dipped. I just stay focused on my job. In the Premier League I’m second top goalscorer. I’d like to have scored more for England but I will be ready to go on Monday, for sure.”
Southgate remains confident that Kane “will always get us goals.” He found other positives in the performances of Ben Chilwell at leftback, Ross Barkley in midfield for the first time in more than two years and late substitute Jadon Sancho who enjoyed a lively 12 minutes on his senior debut.
Southgate used 4-3-3 against Croatia but is likely to revert to his favourite 3-5-2 against Spain with his changes not only tactical since Jordan Henderson in midfield and John Stones in central defence will be both be suspended.