GLENN HODDLE says he is ‘worried’ about the fitness of England captain Harry Kane heading into their World Cup semi-final against Croatia.
The Three Lions will play at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, on Wednesday night for a place in the final against France – and you can hear LIVE commentary on talkSPORT.
Gareth Southgate’s side go into the game as favourites, with many giving England the advantage after Croatia’s last-16 victory over Denmark and quarter-final win against Russia both ended in extra-time and penalties.
The Tottenham striker remains the World Cup top scorer with six goals, but missed his chance to increase his lead for the Golden Boot in the quarter-final against Sweden, where he was unusually quiet.
Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast ahead of Wednesday’s crunch clash against Croatia, Hoddle said: “Yes, Croatia looked dreadfully tired in their last game, but it’s late in the tournament for us as well…
“… and I’m a little bit worried about Harry Kane.
“I watched Kane in the second half and extra-time against Colombia and in the second-half against Sweden, and I hope he’s not carrying a knock.
“He looked absolutely shattered. There wasn’t a run in him.
“I’m just hoping he’s recuperated really well for this one.”
Hoddle is backing the Three Lions to reach their first World Cup final since 1966 and, like some many times so far in Russia, he believes set-pieces will be crucial.
The former England boss says Southgate’s tactics have made opposing teams ‘petrified’ at corners, and believes that will play to their advantage against Croatia.
“We’ve scored a lot of goals from set plays and that is a fantastic feeling to have – that you’re going up one end, your centre-backs and strikers going into the box and believing they will score,” he added.
“Their opponents are worried, they are fearing we are going to score.
“They are absolutely petrified this England team is going to score from corners – that’s why you see them holding onto shirts and us getting some joy with penalties because of the fear factor in them.
“I’m so looking forward to the game, it’s amazing to think we’re in touching distance of the final.
“But it’s not going to be easy. England never make it easy, whatever we do.”