With Gareth Southgate undoubtedly hoping that victory in their upcoming World Cup qualifying encounter with rivals Scotland will be enough to hand him the England managerial role on a full-time basis, the former Middlesbrough boss has delayed the announcement of his squad for the game as he awaits the fitness of key personnel.
England have two wins from their opening three matches in Group F, and a further three points over the Scots could significantly damage Gordon Strachan’s team’s chances of qualification.
Despite missing the last month of action through injury, striker Harry Kane is in line to return to action for Tottenham in the North London derby against Arsenal this weekend, with Southgate keen for the frontman to spearhead England’s attack at Wembley. The likes of Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy have been out of form in front of goal for Liverpool and Leicester City respectively, and should Kane play some part at the Emirates Stadium, he will undoubtedly be named in the England squad. Despite their embarrassing defeat to minnows Iceland at Euro 2016, England are one of the favourites in the football betting markets to qualify automatically for the finals in Russia, you can view all football competitions today! - including the World Cup 2018 - European Qualifiers. As well as England’s game against Scotland.
England, who have scored just three goals in their qualifying campaign to date, will be grateful for the opportunity to once again call upon the services of attacking duo Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana, both of whom have starred in the Premier League over recent weeks. Sterling also produced a standout performance against Spanish giants Barcelona in the Champions League during the week, and is among the favourites in the football betting odds to open the scoring at Wembley.
Meanwhile, perhaps due to his former connections with Middlesbrough, Southgate is rumoured to be considering call ups for Ben Gibson and Adam Forshaw, both of whom have starred for Aikor Karanka’s side so far this season. Injury concerns to the likes of Michael Antonio and Andros Townsend could well offer them a surprise first international call up. Interim boss Southgate was in attendance in the North East for a recent match with Bournemouth, where Arsenal loanee Jack Wilshere was also on the manager’s radar. Wilshere himself is odds on with the bookies to sign a permanent deal on the South Coast in the near future.