Harry Kane want solely suppose again to the final two tournaments to ease any doubts that he has not scored up to now on the World Cup as England put together to face Senegal within the final 16.
The captain took the Golden Boot as prime scorer on the ultimate world stage in Russia with six targets, however all of them got here in his first three video games. There was solely frustration in entrance of aim within the subsequent three, as England completed fourth.
The script was turned at Euro 2020: No targets within the group stage, then 4 within the run-up to the ultimate.
So the Tottenham striker goes into the match towards African champions Senegal on the Al-Bayt Stadium later as we speak buoyed by the shows on the Euros, on reflection, extra so than these at Russia 2018.
He mentioned: “I began the event [Russia 2018] with a great deal of targets, used up plenty of vitality and because the event went on it felt like my efficiency dropped off within the later phases.
“I used to be conscious earlier than the EC to attempt to do it the opposite means. After all I nonetheless wished to begin properly, however I attempted to guarantee that bodily and mentally I used to be in the perfect place for the knockout phases. “
Now the 29-year-old feels free from any ankle issues – after a priority early in Qatar – and in fine condition.
He mentioned: “I really feel as match as I am going to ever really feel. Solely time will inform. Hopefully I can do properly and get in the perfect form in these knockout matches.
“When it comes to type I really feel I’ve performed properly, targets are what I will likely be judged on essentially the most however as at all times I’m a peaceful particular person and at all times attempt to deal with the crew and do my finest for the crew.”
His team-mates shouldered the scoring load within the group stage, scoring 9 targets – essentially the most by an English crew at this stage.
And he nonetheless arrange three targets – essentially the most by an English participant at a World Cup since David Beckham 20 years in the past.
Senegal are a “very harmful” crew – and know they will win
Senegal just isn’t a aspect to be underestimated.
The West African nation are the present champions of the African Cup of Nations, and lots of the crew play for main European golf equipment, together with 11 in England.
The star participant, former Liverpool and now Bayern Munich striker Sadio Mane, didn’t make the World Cup because of a knee harm, however the Lions of Teranga nonetheless scored, and encouragingly, for them, from positions all around the pitch.
Gareth Southgate has described them as “a really harmful crew”.
That is solely their second World Cup, the earlier two being in 2002 and 2018, and so they have reached the quarter-finals as soon as earlier than in Japan, ultimately shedding to Turkey.
Be careful for Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and club-mate Kalidou Koulibaly, who captains his nation.
And within the absence of the injured Mane, better expectations have been positioned on Watford ahead Ismaila Sarr.
His solely aim up to now has come through a coolly taken penalty, having received the spot-kick himself, and he has the tempo and motion to bother any opposition.
England will go into the match favourites, however Senegal really feel the stress is off them and know they’ve the power to win the match.
Undoubtedly, Senegal would be the hardest crew England have confronted within the event up to now.
Kane mentioned: “I might like to be sitting right here with two or three targets now, for positive, however I feel the group stage has gone properly.”
He wants simply two targets to match Wayne Rooneydocument 53 targets for England. The precedence is in fact to guide The Three Lions to a different closing – and land their first trophy since 1966.
England will likely be favorites going into the match, however supervisor Gareth Southgate won’t be taking Senegal evenly.
“We’ve got been very impressed with Senegal,” he mentioned.
“We all know they’re African champions and are very proud and have nice spirit and perception of their crew. They’ve some glorious particular person gamers who could cause issues, however a superb construction as properly.
“(Aliou) Cisse has achieved a improbable job. They had been very unfortunate to not qualify from the group in Russia and so they deserved to do it this time. We all know the dimensions of the job forward of us.”
Southgate believes England are “mentally and bodily” prepared for one more shootout if the showdown with Senegal goes all the way down to the restrict.
The nationwide crew’s aim kicking woes are properly documented, with all three World Cup shootouts ending in defeat earlier than beating Colombia within the final sixteen 4 years in the past in Russia.
England adopted that up by profitable bronze on aim kicks within the Nations League finals towards Switzerland in 2019, just for penalties to show they went down in final 12 months’s Euro closing.
“We’re aiming to win the sport and to keep away from extra-time when you can, and to keep away from penalties when you can, since you’d wish to win in 90 minutes,” Southgate mentioned.
“But when we have to go 120 minutes, if we have to go longer than that, then we’ve got to be prepared for it mentally and bodily. And I feel we’re.”
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