Southgate praises England bravery

Gareth Southgate heaped praise on his England players for their bravery in a 3-2 Nations League victory over Spain in Seville.

The Three Lions stunned the home crowd by roaring into a three-goal lead by half-time, with Raheem Sterling scoring twice to end a 27-game goalless run, while Marcus Rashford was also on the scoresheet.

And head coach Southgate was delighted by the performance, which saw the visitors score with their only three shots on target in the 90 minutes.

He told BBC Radio 5 live: "The quality of the performance – we played with courage and used the ball with courage. If you come and defend for 90 minutes they will unlock you.

"We really showed some quality and a good mentality to play out of their pressing. Spain are very aggressive in the way they press.

"All our players, right through the team, were brave enough to play the way we wanted to play. It's fine to have an idea of how you want to play, but to do it is a huge credit to them."

In particular, Southgate was delighted with the way the front three of Sterling, Rashford and Harry Kane had put the Spanish backline under pressure for much of the game.

He added: "We spoke to the forward players before the game to remind them what a threat they are, and the three of them were outstanding, causing all sorts of problems all night – a tremendous threat."

England are now priced at 10/1 to win the Nations League, with Spain 3/1 and World Cup winners France 3/1.

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Kane brushes off rest talk

England skipper Harry Kane is adamant he does not need rest following his efforts at the World Cup with the Three Lions over the summer.

The Spurs forward has featured in 13 games so far this season for his club and England, ahead of their clash with Spain in the Nations League on Monday.

Having scored six goals for club and country in the 16 games since scoring that many in three World Cup games in Russia, some have suggested Kane is having a dip in form and needs rest.

However, the 25-year-old claims he is happy with his fitness levels and has no intention of willingly taking a break.

"It's been tough after the World Cup, not getting much rest, but I think I've dealt with it well," said Kane.

"I've stayed fit and stayed healthy. That was my main priority at the start of the season. Now it's building on that and pushing forward over the winter.

"I set a standard for myself and I want to reach that standard every game I play. I don't think my game has dipped."

England are 19/4 to win, 3/1 to draw and 4/7 to lose to La Roja in Sevilla.

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Formation switch suits Southgate

England head coach Gareth Southgate was pleased to see a change of defensive formation work well for his side as they drew 0-0 with Croatia in Rijeka.

The repeat of the World Cup 2018 semi-final may have ended goalless, but Southgate felt that there were plenty of positives taken from a Nations League game in which he opted for a four-man defence rather than the three-man set-up he utilised in Russia.

Having seen both Eric Dier and Harry Kane denied by the woodwork, Southgate told reporters: "We wanted to keep continuity in September, but we felt this system was the best way to go.

"The players did well. It meant we were able to get tighter to their midfield and we were able to get higher up the pitch.

"I don't think we should ever be rigid and only have one way of playing. In the summer we had a system which allowed our players to embed into international football, but now they are more experienced."

Meanwhile, Southgate was also upbeat about the attacking play of his side, despite them being unable to make an all-important breakthrough.

He added: "I thought we dictated the flow of the game for a long period and the second-half performance was excellent.

"We were pushing and pushing right to the end, so I couldn't ask more of the players. I am pleased with the chances we created and we just have to make sure we finish them.

"It feels like a game we should have won and I think the performance deserved that."

England are now priced at 14/1 to triumph at the World Cup in 2022, with holders France available at 7/1 and Germany 7/1.

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Spurs response pleases Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino was proud of the way his Spurs team reacted to conceding an early goal to push Barcelona hard, before eventually losing out 4-2 at Wembley.

Former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho gave the visitors the lead inside two minutes, with Ivan Rakitic making the half-time score 2-0 to the Catalan giants.

However, the second half was a 2-2 draw, with Harry Kane and Erik Lamela netting for Tottenham and Lionel Messi adding a double for Barcelona.

And, while being annoyed by such an early concession, head coach Pochettino was full of praise for the reaction of his players as the game progressed.

He told reporters: "To concede a goal so early, we destroyed the plan. If we start the game this way, it's so tough for the players.

"We were handicapped after conceding after one minute and I think our players were heroes to chase the game against a team with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.

"That is why I want to congratulate the team, because we were always in the game, always fighting, never giving up – I feel so proud. I'm disappointed with the result, but the effort was massive.

"To give that advantage to a team like Barcelona is so difficult to come back from. The most important thing was our character."

Spurs are back in Premier League action on Saturday when they welcome in winless Cardiff City.

The Londoners are 1/4 to win the game and 15/2 to claim a 3-0 victory, with Tottenham 8/13 to go on and secure a top-four finish this season.

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Pochettino happy with attitude

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said his players attitude had been fantastic as they comfortably came away from Huddersfield with all three points.

Two first half goals from Harry Kane were enough to seal the victory and send Spurs into the top four in the Premier League.

It was their third win in a row having also progressed in the EFL Cup in midweek and, coming after a mini-crisis with three successive losses, it left Pochettino happy with the revival.

He told the BBC: "It was a tough game against a team desperate to win. They were helped by their unbelievable fans, among the best I have found in England. Which is why we are so pleased to have three more points in the table today.

"We are in the Premier League, it is tough, physical. Teams like Huddersfield are difficult to play. I think it is a normal the actions that happened today."

The result leaves Huddersfield still without a win this season and bottom of the table, behind Cardiff and Newcastle on goal difference.

Other results on Saturday saw Manchester City remain unbeaten having won 2-0 at home to Brighton with goals from Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

Arsenal recorded their seventh straight win in all competitions overcoming a stubborn Watford 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

It was goalless going into the last 10 minutes but a Craig Cathcart own goal and another from Mesut Ozil gave the Gunners all three points and moved them up to fifth in the table.

At the other end of the table Newcastle's winless start to the season continued as they lost 2-0 at home to Leicester.

Other winners on Saturday were Wolves over Southampton and Everton who beat Fulham 3-0.

Spurs meanwhile are in Champions League action in midweek at home to Barcelona and are 5/2 for the win, Barca are 19/20 with the draw 14/5.

Spurs are 50/1 to win the Champions League with Barcelona 6/1.

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Kane vows to silence critics

Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane has played down suggestions that he is struggling and insists he is feeling sharp and does not need a rest.

The 25-year-old scored 41 goals last season but, despite winning the Golden Boot at World Cup 2018, he did not seem to be at his predatory best for England in Russia.

Kane has also made a quiet start to the Premier League campaign and seemed particularly forlorn during Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Wembley.

However, the forward says he is happy with his game and has no intention of missing Spurs' Champions League match against Inter Milan at the San Siro on Tuesday.

He said: "People are always going to look for stuff, especially when you are a big part of the team and someone who is there to get the goals.

"As a team we can all do better and as the striker you get spoken about more, but I feel sharp and fit and if I wasn't the manager would not be picking me.

"He believes in me, I believe in myself and hopefully I can score a couple of goals on Tuesday and it will be put to bed."

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has also indicated that Kane will start against Inter, saying: "I think we would be crazy to think different. He's one of the best strikers in the world. I don't care that he wasn't great [against Liverpool].

"He's going to score goals and he's going to perform in the way we want and we expect. No problem."

Kane is 21/20 to score at any time against Inter Milan while Spurs are 11/1 to beat the Serie A outfit 2-0. Meanwhile, Pochettino's team are 5/6 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this term.

Poch plays down Kane concerns

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino has played down talk of star striker Harry Kane having struggled to find top form in recent games.

Kane failed to find the net for England against either Spain or Switzerland during the recent international programme, having skippered the Three Lions to the semi-finals of World Cup 2018 earlier this summer.

He has, however, scored twice in four Premier League outings for Spurs so far this season and Pochettino is not concerned about his player ahead of a Wembley showdown with Liverpool on Saturday.

He told reporters at his pre-match press conference: "I think he's fit. I've not read or listened to what's going on around him, the most important thing for me is that we trust him, he's one of the best strikers in the world.

"Harry Kane for us is so important. No doubt he's one of the best players in England and Europe. Under our assessment he's ready to play, of course that doesn't mean he will.

"I am not disappointed in him. It's only a matter of time before he starts scoring goals."

Kane, who scored three times in two games against the Reds last season, is 1/1 to score at any time on Saturday and is 9/2 to score two goals or more, with Spurs 2/1 to claim victory over the Merseysiders.

Meanwhile, Pochettino also confirmed that both goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and midfielder Dele Alli will be absent from the clash Liverpool at lunchtime on Saturday.

England ace Alli is being troubled by a hamstring problem, but is expected back in action shortly, while the prognosis on France keeper Lloris and his thigh injury appears to be a little less certain.

Pochettino added: "Hugo Lloris will have another scan to see the evolution of his injury. Hopefully it will be okay and he will be available again soon like Dele."

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Alli to sit out Swiss showdown

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has been ruled out of England's friendly international against Switzerland on Tuesday due to a slight muscle strain.

The 22-year-old played the full 90 minutes of the 2-1 Nations League defeat to Spain at Wembley on Saturday evening, but has been allowed to return to his club for treatment after complaining of pain in his leg.

A tweet from The FA confirmed: "Dele Alli has withdrawn from the squad due to a minor muscle strain picked up on Saturday.

"He'll return to Spurs for further treatment, with no further additions to the Three Lions squad planned."

The Three Lions have already added Leicester City duo Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray to their squad for the clash with the Swiss, which takes place at the home of the Foxes, the King Power Stadium, on Tuesday evening.

England and Switzerland met in the qualifying campaign for the 2016 European Championships, with the Three Lions claiming 2-0 victories both home and away.

Current skipper Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney were the goalscorers for the hosts in their Wembley success, while Danny Welbeck netted both goals in the victory in Basel.

England are 13/2 to secure another 2-0 win on Tuesday evening, with Kane priced at 5/6 to score at any time, with the hosts 11/10 to keep a clean sheet in Leicester.

Gareth Southgate is expected to make a host of changes to the side who lost to Spain, having told reporters: "We have to give the other players that haven't played a start, it's important for their development.

"Some of the guys were suffering towards the end (against Spain), so there are players that have a valid case for getting into the starting team that we need to see."

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Kane still striving to improve

England captain Harry Kane believes that he can improve his game further, despite having won the Golden Boot at the World Cup 2018 finals earlier this summer.

Tottenham Hotspur ace Kane found the net six times for the Three Lions in Russia, including completing a hat-trick in the 6-1 victory over Panama and scoring a brace in the 2-1 win over Tunisia.

However, the 25-year-old frontman says that there remains plenty he can improve on, as he prepares to lead his country in their first game of the new UEFA Nations League tournament.

Ahead of a Wembley meeting with Spain on Saturday evening, Kane told reporters: "I think I could have done better at the World Cup if I'm perfectly honest.

"It was great, I scored some good goals and important goals but there was stuff I could have done better as well – certain finishes, certain movements.

"To win the Golden Boot at the World Cup and feel like I could have done better is exciting. There's a lot of improvement (to go) and I'm at a high level already."

Kane's overall record for England to date reads 19 goals in 30 appearances, with the Spurs star having made his senior international debut against Lithuania in March 2015 – marking the occasion by scoring within 90 seconds of coming on as a substitute.

He can be backed at 6/5 to score against Spain at any time on Saturday evening and is 7/2 to score the first goal of the game, with the hosts 13/2 to win the game 1-0.

Kane's only previous outing against Spain came in November 2015, when La Furia Roja won a friendly international in Alicante by a 2-0 scoreline.

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Southgate eager to kick on

England head coach Gareth Southgate is keen to see how his side get on against Spain when the two sides meet in a Nations League clash at Wembley on Saturday evening.

The Three Lions go into the game on a high, having reached the semi-finals of World Cup 2018, but Southgate has major targets in his mind already, with Euro 2020 the focus of his attention.

He told reporters: "We want to test ourselves against the very best. We have played Spain, Germany, Brazil and Italy in the last 18 months.

"It's been very rare to beat those teams since the 1960s and '70s. Our history isn't impressive.

"Ideally over the next couple of years we'd like to go into the European Championship having beaten those teams, and to do that we have to be spot on in every area.

"Over the summer, you are looking for results. Now it is about developing the team and looking at how we play."

Since November 2016 England has secured draws against Spain, Germany, Brazil and Italy, as well as claiming a 3-2 friendly win over World Cup winners France.

Southgate will be without the services of injured midfield duo Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana for both the clash with Spain and the friendly against Switzerland on Tuesday evening.

England are 11/5 to secure another draw against Spain on Saturday evening, with skipper Harry Kane 5/4 to score at any time, while the hosts are 2/1 to keep a clean sheet.

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