Harry Kane is ready. England is ready.
Now, can they deliver?
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Believe it or not, England hasn’t recorded a win in the knockout stages of a major tournament in 10 long years. The last came courtesy of a David Beckham free kick against Ecuador in Stuttgart, Germany in the Round of 16 at the 2006 World Cup. I remember it. I was there.
Ahead of England’s Round of 16 clash at EURO 2016 against Iceland in Nice on Monday, Roy Hodgson’s boys are feeling confident.
“It’s definitely a tournament we can win. We are one of the best teams in the tournament,” Kane told reporters, according to Henry Winter.
Kane then told reporters he is feeling fresh despite concerns over a taxing season where he led the Premier League and Tottenham Hotspur in goals (25) and barely got a rest. The 22-year-old striker insisted he is feeling fresh and sharp and is ready to roll.
So are his teammates as he was asked about being on the tougher side of the bracket with the potential to face Germany, Spain, Italy and France on their way through the knockout rounds.
“We are a confident bunch of players, if you are going to in a major tournament then you’re going to have to play some of the best teams in the world,” Kane said. “We are calm, focused on Iceland. It will be a tough game.”
“The focus is all on Iceland, we are not looking to far ahead. We want to beat Iceland and progress to the quarterfinals and then see who we get and go from there. We fancy ourselves against anyone. Like I said earlier, we are very confident in our ability.”
Whether or not Kane starts on Monday is up for debate but the fact he was trotted out in front of the media on Friday suggests he may do. He started England’s first two games and was off target in the 1-1 draw with Russia and was then hauled off at half time as he and Raheem Sterling were replaced by Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy in their 2-1 win over Wales.
Both Vardy and Sturridge scored in that game but after being rested for the Group B finale against Slovakia, Kane should be recalled to lead the line for England. Whether or not he’s partnered by either Vardy or Sturridge, or left up top on his own and supported by Sterling and Adam Lallana, we will have to wait and see.
Iceland will pose a threat on the counter but this is another game England should dominate possession wise and with chances.
Boasting just a 6.98 percent conversion rate from shots on goal so far at EURO 2016, England will be counting on Kane to regain his scoring touch in the box.
Their hopes of doing anything special this summer depend on it.