The Dell Boys
The Dell Boys

Liverpool midfielder Henderson set to captain England against Slovakia

Liverpool midfielder Henderson set to captain England against Slovakia

Gareth Southgate and his squad returned to home soil on Saturday afternoon, after taking another step towards Russian Federation with a 4-0 win over Malta on Friday night.

Southgate has rotated the captain's armband since easing former skipper Wayne Rooney out of his squad and with Rooney having since retired from worldwide football, England do not have a permanent captain.

But he revealed Spain coach Julen Lopetegui had expressed admiration for England striker Harry Kane, who has scored five goals in his last three worldwide appearances.

England have hardly provided much excitement in the World Cup qualifiers.

"Danny can play a couple of different roles, which makes him a valuable asset". But that's why some people get 50, 60 or 70 caps and others, who may be good players, don't get that many.

"Normally the captain does the two games when we've been together unless we change the team and that guy does not play".

"I have every trust in Harry".

"He knew this morning how many goals in games he had, and also how many Ronaldo and Messi had at this point".

And Southgate said: "I was having some interaction with Julen Lopetegui at a game where he was saying how lucky I was to have Harry playing". He had that when we weren't picking him in the under-21s.

He was even more blunt on whether other top nations handled the pressure and public scrutiny of the global game better than England appear to.

Friday's 4-0 victory in Malta included one goal in the 85th minute and two in stoppage time - disguising what had been a turgid display against a side ranked 190th in the world by Federation Internationale de Football Association. He's only 24 and there's so much more to come from him, these are still the early stages of his career'. Why can't that happen moving forward?

"This is the same narrative I heard when I was playing, so I'm able to contextualise and rationalise it".

England are two points clear of closest rivals Slovakia at the top of Group F and a victory would put them on the brink of sealing their place in Russian Federation, while defeat would see them lose top spot.

Eric Dier is expected to return to England's lineup having been suspended in Malta, while Marcus Rashford may be preferred from the start in place of Raheem Sterling against the team ranked 22nd in the world.

"It's also a fantastic opportunity for us now". They pay their money and want us to win and perform.


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