Captain Kane in the spotlight – Talking points ahead of England v Czech Republic

·3-min read

England host the Czech Republic at Wembley on Tuesday in their final Group D game at Euro 2020.

The teams are locked on four points, with the visitors top of the group on goal difference.

Here, the PA news agency looks ahead to some of the key talking points ahead of the game.

Will Gareth Southgate stick or twist?

England v Scotland – UEFA Euro 2020 – Group D – Wembley Stadium
England’s Jack Grealish was a second-half substitute against Scotland (Nick Potts/PA)

Jack Grealish made a 27-minute cameo against Scotland on Friday but was unable to make a telling difference.

The clamour remains for the Aston Villa skipper to start on Tuesday and help lift the Three Lions’ performance levels.

But Southgate has other options, including sticking with Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden, while Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho will also be desperate to make their mark in the tournament.

Can Kane put renewed transfer talk behind him?

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Continued speculation about Harry Kane’s future at club level has only intensified the glare on the England captain.

Southgate has already given him his vote of confidence and said he will start at Wembley.

The striker has struggled to find top gear in England’s opening two games but remains the team’s best forward, despite coming off against Scotland.

Southgate trusts the players who have performed for him before and Kane deserves better than to have his place questioned after just two barren games.

England must avoid Czech mate

Czech Republic Training Session – Wembley Stadium – Monday June 21st
Czech Republic manager Jaroslav Silhavy expects England to improve (Nick Potts/PA)

Czech boss Jaroslav Silhavy expects England to come out firing after two lacklustre displays against Croatia and Scotland.

His side lost 5-0 on their last trip to Wembley, but they are in a position of strength and lead the group on goal difference.

Patrik Schick’s three goals, including his 50-yard strike against Scotland, underlines his threat and victory is not a foregone conclusion for England.

What do England want?

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If England finish second in their group, they will face the runner-up from Group E, one of Spain, Sweden, Poland or Slovakia.

On paper it looks better than a potential last-16 meeting with one of Portugal, Germany, France or Hungary, with the second-placed side from Group F waiting if England win Group D.

The Three Lions need momentum though and a win on Tuesday would give them a boost heading into the last 16.

How does Southgate solve his late selection problem?

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Chelsea duo Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell have been forced to self-isolate after coming into contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

Mount has been crucial to Southgate’s plans and any potential absence on Tuesday will be felt. It could open the door for Grealish, but Jude Bellingham and Jordan Henderson remain options for the boss.

Chilwell is yet to feature, but the pair’s late withdrawals give the Three Lions an unwanted headache, with the Football Association liaising with Public Health England over their availability.

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