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Harry Kane will start for England vs Czech Republic

Asked if Kane would start on Tuesday night, Southgate told ITV: “You can assume that. I don’t mind giving you that.”

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Marcus Rashford has replaced Kane in both previous group games and Southgate acknowledged that the Tottenham forward was not used to being subbed.

But the England manager backed Kane to silence his doubters again, as he has so often done in his career.

“No, but in one of the games [Croatia] we were already ahead and we needed energy to press and keep the lead – we didn’t need an additional goal,” Southgate said.

“Harry, during the World Cup we ended up playing a lot of football and we felt the need to manage that load a little bit this time. And we have got good option on the bench to bring people into the game.

“But he’s our most important player, there is no doubt about that – you have only got to look at his goalscoring record with us to see his importance to the team.

“He’s fundamental not only to the goals he scores but the build-up play and everything else he brings.

“I know there will be a lot of questions being asked about him at the moment, but he has been through that 100 times before and I have answered that in this role several times in the past and he has come up with the goals that have won us the next games. I expect that to be the same moving forward.”


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