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Harry Kane hands England World Cup fitness boost

England got their World Cup off to the perfect start against Iran on Monday, thrashing Iran 6-2 in Group B, but they did suffer a scare following Harry Kane's substitution.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane was withdrawn midway through the second half of the Three Lions' rout on Monday and it was subsequently revealed he was to undergo a scan on a potential ankle knock.

However, he was able to take part in training on Wednesday which has given Gareth Southgate's side a big lift heading into their contest against the USA on Friday.

What: England v USA
Where: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
When: 19:00, Friday 25th November
How to watch: ITV1
Odds: England 4/7, Draw 16/5, USA 9/2

Remarkably, Kane did not score in the Iran demolition but he is still widely fancied to play a massive role for England throughout the Qatar tournament.

Kane carries England hopes

There is no question that Kane is England's talisman and biggest scoring threat, despite his relatively quiet outing against Iran on Monday.

The Tottenham man has once again been in brilliant scoring form this season, netting 13 goals across all competitions on the domestic stage.

He has proven in the past that he can easily transfer his club form over to international duty and he has registered 51 goals in 76 caps for the Three Lions - only two goals adrift of all-time record scorer Wayne Rooney.

So much of England's play goes through Kane so it is vital that he is fit and available to play against the USA, who are likely to put up more resistance than Iran.

Kane's link-up play helps the likes of Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka work their way into space and there is no like-for-like replacement if the worst does happen.

Newcastle's Callum Wilson likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender but his link-up play is not in the same league as Kane's, while beyond that a false nine would probably be the most likely option.

The 29-year-old is the talismanic figure for England and if he was to be absent for Friday, it would offer the USA a massive amount of hope.

At the pre-match press conference, Kane was described as "fine" by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford so England will be keeping their fingers crossed that everything is fine and ready to go for Friday.

Southgate may try and substitute him again in order to keep him as fresh as possible for Tuesday's contest against Wales.

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Kane still in Golden Ball hunt

Four years ago, Kane won the Golden Ball after a brilliant tournament on a personal level for the Spurs man.

He found the back of the net six times and became only the second Englishman to ever pick up the prestigious prize since Gary Lineker won it in 1986.

Six goals were scored by Kane as he grabbed both in the 2-1 win over Tunisia while he collected the match ball for a hat-trick against Panama.

He can be backed at 16/1 to win the Golden Ball this time around but he faces big competition after most teams have already played one game.

Kylian Mbappe's display against Australia on Tuesday evening showed the world what he is capable of and he is priced at 6/1 to win the award, while his teammate Olivier Giroud is 10/1 following a two-goal stand against the Socceroos.

Brazil's Neymar is also in the reckoning at 9/1 with the 30-year-old the main man for tournament favourites Brazil.

Maddison a doubt for USA

In terms of other team news for England, James Maddison continues to be a fitness worry ahead of the game against USA with the knee issue he picked up prior to the tournament.

Many fans were clamouring for the Leicester playmaker's inclusion but he is unlikely to make too much of an impact in the group stage, if indeed at all.

Wilson did not take part in Wednesday's training session but is not expected to be a fitness doubt while Harry Maguire is fine after coming off feeling ill against Iran.

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