Harry Kane determined to start against Wales despite calls to be rested

Harry Kane determined to start against Wales despite calls to be rested - GETTY IMAGES
Harry Kane determined to start against Wales despite calls to be rested - GETTY IMAGES

Harry Kane does not want to be rested for England’s final World Cup Group B game against Wales on Tuesday with the striker bidding to break Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring record in Qatar.

While Gareth Southgate is expected to freshen up his team for the Wales clash, the England manager is not planning wholesale changes and Kane wants to start and break his goalscoring duck at this tournament.

Kane is yet to get off the mark at this World Cup, but is only three goals off overtaking Rooney's tally of 53 and claiming the outright England goalscoring record which he would love to do at the World Cup.

The 29-year-old also has the chance to become the first man to win the Golden Boot at two successive World Cups, but that task has been made harder by his failure to net against Iran and the United States while Kylian Mbappe has already scored three times for France.

Southgate admitted that Kane had felt some pain in his right foot against the US after being sent for a scan on an injury suffered against Iran, but, fitness permitting, the Tottenham Hotspur forward does not feel in need of a rest.

Telegraph Sport columnist Joe Cole and former England striker Alan Shearer have led the calls for Kane to be rested against Wales, even though it is not yet guaranteed that Southgate’s team will win Group B or progress.

Southgate faced similar calls to rest Kane after the first two games - in which he did not score - in the European Championships, but he started the third match against Czech Republic and finished the tournament with four goals.

Ahead of the US game, Southgate agreed with the assessment of Spurs head coach Antonio Conte that Kane is in the best shape of his career and on Sunday Marcus Rashford said: “Harry’s all right. He’s happy. He’s enjoying his football. But for any forward you want to be scoring goals. I’m sure if he keeps doing what he’s doing he’ll score.”

Meanwhile Kane has insisted that he and his England team-mates are not concerned by the criticism that has followed the draw with the USA that prompted boos from their own fans inside the stadium.

Speaking to the BBC, Kane said: “I think the team are pretty used to it [the noise]. We go from a 6-2 win and everyone is talking about us winning the tournament and then we have, not a bad result a 0-0 versus the USA, and people of course have their opinions. That is part and parcel of major tournament football.

"When we look back at the Euros, it is very similar. After we drew against Scotland there was a lot of noise after that game. But we are focused on ourselves, we know what it takes to get to a major championship final. And hopefully it will be more of the same if we stay focused on what we need to do."

While Kane is desperate to start again, Southgate is expected to change his team for the first time at this World Cup against Wales to bring in some fresh legs.

Phil Foden was left on the bench for the draw with the USA and Southgate is now under pressure to start the Manchester City midfielder on Tuesday night.

Southgate could decide to rest Bukayo Saka, who faded badly in the second half of England’s second game before being substituted after scoring two in the victory over Iran.

Raheem Sterling was also substituted and Jack Grealish has been pushing for his first World Cup start after scoring as a substitute against Iran and winning free-kicks in dangerous areas against the Americans.

Vice-captain Jordan Henderson brought control to England’s midfield against the US and the 32-year-old’s experience could be key in a game against Wales that has been billed in some quarters as a ‘battle of Britain’. Southgate has already said that teenager Jude Bellingham will not play every minute of every game at the World Cup.

Rashford is still waiting for his first start of the tournament, having scored as a substitute against Iran and got off the bench in the US draw.