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England given Covid all-clear after Ireland positive test scare

The England squad and staff were tested on Friday morning, with Southgate receiving the all-clear on Saturday ahead of travelling to Belgium.

While Southgate has no further blows, the England boss is already without three defenders ahead of facing the world’s No1 ranked side this weekend. Conor Coady has had to isolate after being identified as a close contact of someone who had tested positive ahead of the international break, Joe Gomez has withdrawn through injury while Harry Maguire is suspended for Sunday’s game after his sending off against Denmark last month. The changes mean Southgate could well have to tweak his preferred three-at-the-back formation.

“We can do any tactical formation but the reality is we’ve still lost three defenders for this game so however we do it we’re having to readjust, but we’re having to do that all the time,” said the England manager.

“It says something when one of the biggest enjoyments of the week was hearing no positive tests this morning.

“The protocols are very tight and all the research that was done right at the start means that the medical community have confidence that there is minimal possibility of transmission on the field, we’re quire relaxed about that.”

Sunday’s game will likely see Harry Kane claim his 50th cap for England and, asked how far the Tottenham striker can go for the Three Lions, Southgate said he’s keen to see the captain chase Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 goals.

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Landmark | Harry Kane is set to win his 50th cap this weekend

/ POOL/AFP via Getty Images )

“In terms of what is possible I think the goalscoring record is the interesting one because his strike rate for us is phenomenal,” Southgate said of Kane, who currently has 32 goals for his country. “He has time on his side to chase Wayne’s record.

“I know from his perspective, whilst the personal achievement is something he is driven towards he is all about the team winning now. He is focused on that and the team having success.”


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