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England announce keeper to start against Lithuania

08 October, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • England team predicted line-up Slovenia

However, this was simply not the case.

"From the fans' perspective, if you look at the last time we won anything for England it was a long, long time".

Thursday's 1-0 victory over Slovenia may have been underwhelming, but what it lacked in entertainment it made up for in optimism as England secured their passage to next summer's tournament.

They also flattered to deceive away at Malta, with the minnows able to hold England at bay for 53 minutes.

However, Kevin Keegan goes against that theory, believing that Southgate's men can follow in the footsteps of the England side of 1966 providing Harry Kane and Dele Alli stay fit. Every game for England is important.

HARRY KANE: The matchwinner when all is said and done.

Jack Butland, Joe Hart, Fraser Forster and Jordan Pickford are the players giving Southgate a selection dilemma. I go to games and I look at one person and how he plays, so you see the different attributes. The manager admitted that his team is lacking the creative spark that is needed in midfield and admitted that Wilshere could be recalled if he plays regularly at club level.

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"It's being English, it's the optimism".

England's wretched display somehow ended on an upbeat note when Kane stretched to convert Kyle Walker's cross in stoppage-time.

Keegan said: "Alan Shearer is a massive fan of Kane".

One player who will get that opportunity is goalkeeper Jack Butland, who is set to start ahead of Joe Hart and gain the sixth cap for his country. "I've managed to shoulder that for 20 years", he said.

"We've got great competition for places".

Once Sunday's dead rubber in Lithuania is out of the way, Gareth Southgate's thoughts will turn to a series of pre-tournament friendlies, December's group phase draw and his main task between now and next June: selecting a final 23-man squad.

Euro '96 is held as the high watermark for the national side in the Premier League era, with an entertaining team capturing the wider imagination on home soil before crashing out to Germany in a semi-final shootout.

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