England v Sweden – Kane shakes off calf problem
Harry Kane has declared himself fit for the World Cup 2018 quarter-final between England v Sweden but Jamie Vardy looks set to miss the clash.
England captain Harry Kane, the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals in three matches, experienced discomfort in his calf after Tuesday’s dramatic penalty shoot-out victory against Colombia but is now feeling much better.
However, Leicester City forward Vardy needed a sugar injection in his groin immediately after the round of 16 match.
Vardy came on as a substitute towards the end of normal time against Colombia but picked up the problem in extra time and was not involved in the shoot-out, Eric Dier scoring England’s fifth penalty instead.
Ashley Young suffered knocks to his ankle and thigh in the game but has shaken them off while Dele Alli has not reported any new problems following the thigh injury he sustained against Tunisia.
Kyle Walker is also fully fit after suffering from cramp in extra time on Tuesday.
Fabian Delph has returned to Russia after flying to the UK to be at his wife’s side for the birth of their daughter on Wednesday morning.
“Watching my brothers come through a tough game both mentally and physically, I kicked every ball and felt every bit of emotion with the players, staff and fans,” Delph posted on social media.
“At 07:52, me, my wife and two beautiful daughters welcomed their baby sister into the world. I can’t put into words the happiness and gratitude I’m feeling… Back to Russia now.”
Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling insists England will stay cool in Russia even if Sweden attempt to replicate Colombia’s provocative tactics.
The South Americans employed some rough-house measures, but Sterling insisted: “We knew what would get thrown at us. We just keep going, black that out and focus on the football.
“They were trying to do everything they could to get into our heads but we kept cool heads and that’s the most important thing. It’s up to the ref to clamp down on it and we can’t really get involved in it.
“Before the tournament the manager gave us everything that could be thrown at us – every single possibility from going behind to the opposition trying to get you yellow or red cards. We knew we had to keep our heads.”
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England are 2/5 to qualify for the semi-finals and 4/1 to win World Cup 2018. Sterling is 13/5 to score at any time against Sweden while Kane can be backed at 21/20.
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