English boss Southgate wants to recall Kane, Maguire and Rice for World Cup qualifier against Albania

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Revealed: Gareth Southgate will recall trusted trio of Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice for pivotal World Cup qualifier against Albania

  • A large number of fringe players impressed on Thursday in the 5-0 victory over San Marino
  • Gareth Southgate returned to his proven staff for Albania
  • Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice are among those expected to return

Gareth Southgate recalls his big guns for England’s pivotal World Cup qualifier against Albania on Sunday.

The England boss is poised to make a host of changes ahead of Sunday’s game in Tirana with senior players Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice among those returning against Albania.

Marcus Rashford, however, will not be involved and has returned to his club due to the foot injury that precludes him from Manchester United’s quarter-final defeat in the FA Cup in Leicester.

England captain Harry Kane held out the San Marino clash, but returns to Albania on Sunday

England captain Harry Kane held out the San Marino clash, but returns to Albania on Sunday

Southgate has already confirmed that Nick Pope will keep his place in the starting XI of the team that drove to a 5-0 win over San Marino on Thursday evening, while Burnley’s goalkeeper will also play in the game against Poland on Wednesday.

A large number of English fringe players impressed Wembley against San Marino – FIFA’s lowest-ranked country with Jesse Lingard, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jude Bellingham particularly eye-catching.

But Southgate is expected to return to its time-tested staff for Sunday’s clash as he looks to take control of their World Cup qualifying group.

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire is also one of the players to return on Sunday

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire is also one of the players to return on Sunday

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire is also one of the players to return on Sunday

Ahead of the win over San Marino, he revealed he knows his starting XI for this summer’s Euro opener against Croatia on June 13.

Under normal circumstances, vice-captain Jordan Henderson was expected to start for England at the European Championship.

Southgate, however, has expressed concern about the Liverpool skipper’s condition following the midfielder’s groin surgery last month.

Southgate said: “We can only say that Hendo himself is very optimistic about the course of the operation and the prognosis the specialist has given him about what is possible.

Midfielder Declan Rice prepares on Sunday for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Albania

Midfielder Declan Rice prepares on Sunday for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Albania

Midfielder Declan Rice prepares on Sunday for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Albania

‘But of course we are aware that with every injury of this nature there is a guide and a set time, but anything can happen along the way.

‘We know it is nearing the end of the season. We’ll just have to see how it goes. He will give himself every chance to be available. ‘

Likewise, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is expected to enter the euro as England’s number 1.

Gareth Southgate expected to return to his proven workforce before the collision with Albania

Gareth Southgate expected to return to his proven workforce before the collision with Albania

Gareth Southgate expected to return to his proven workforce before the collision with Albania

The Everton man was not included in the current squad due to an abdominal injury, which gave Pope a valuable opportunity.

Southgate said: ‘(Pope) has been very patient with his opportunity and has consistently performed at a high level for his club every week. He is a very calm character and I really like his personality. ‘

Bukayo Saka will not be joining the squad. The Arsenal teenager stayed with his club for review on an ongoing issue in the hope that he would be available for the Albania and Poland games, but will now remain in place and will not join England.

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