England, Germany secure spots in Russian Federation

Beth Cruz
October 8, 2017

'We were very clear in our mind how we wanted to evolve and we've got an extra game to do that now, which is a great opportunity to look at a couple of things.

Butland replaces Joe Hart, England's regular first-choice goalkeeper, for the last match of England's campaign.

Slovenia coach Srecko Katanec could only laugh as Walker cut out Oblak's throw and cross for Kane, whose shot had too much for the otherwise impressive goalkeeper at the death.

However, Kevin Keegan goes against that theory, believing that Southgate's men can follow in the footsteps of the England side of 1966 providing Harry Kane and Dele Alli stay fit.

England's wretched display somehow ended on an upbeat note when Kane stretched to convert Kyle Walker's cross in stoppage-time.

When asked about picking Wilshere, Southgate said: 'We're in a position where there's no way we would dismiss any creative player. They are a work in progress.


England's performance on Thursday was disjointed, lacklustre and lacked any semblance of creativity - and that's being kind. This points the way for England to play over the next nine months. England can't call upon Spurs' chief playmaker Christian Eriksen, who instead plays for Denmark, but Adam Lallana is a respectable replacement.

Hart made his senior England debut under Fabio Capello and has been the national team's established number one since Euro 2012, when his antics during a penalty shoot-out against Italy failed to put off Andrea Pirlo.

Gareth Southgate's men needed last gasp winners to defeat Slovakia in September 2016 and against Slovenia on Thursday night, whereas they also needed a last minute goal to draw against Scotland in June.

"We've qualified with a game in hand and we kind of take qualification for granted now", he said.

As England prepares for Russian Federation, it is becoming a team that relies nearly exclusively on one player.

The Scots, missing from the World Cup since 1998, will be guaranteed second place in Europe Group F and a potential place in the playoffs if they beat Slovenia on Sunday.

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