England v Switzerland: Kane can carry hosts to victory

Paul Higham doesn't expect too many goals at Wembley but does expect Harry Kane to get one and record another slice of England history.

Southgate starting World Cup prep

We're into the preparation stages now for Gareth Southgate as he takes another look at his England squad in action ahead of this year's World Cup in Qatar.

For once we're not talking about whether Trent Alexander-Arnold or Reece James should play at right-back as they're both out injured, and with no Kyle Walker, Kyle Walker-Peters is now in line to get his England debut as the only right-back in the squad.

Harry Maguire's form has been a major talking point at Manchester United but Southgate has no qualms in playing him as he's been a big part of a defence that's conceded just two goals since losing the Euros final against Italy. Maguire wasn't even playing for one of those goals.

Harry Kane is just one goal short of Bobby Charlton's 49 as second-top England scorer, with Southgate just needing to slot in the likes of Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Phil Foden who are all in decent form, in what should be a full-strength selection for this first friendly.

Swiss won't be a roll over

Like England, Switzerland also topped their World Cup qualifying group without losing and are also unbeaten in seven games since the Euros, where they only lost out to Spain on penalties.

It's a theme of Murat Yakin's side that they're defensively disciplined and tough to break down, with their two draws against Italy ultimately seeing them finish above the Euro 2020 champions in World Cup qualifying and sending the Azzurri into the play-offs.

Austria lost on penalties in a Nations League semi-final in the last head-to-head meeting, with them not beating the Three Lions since 1981 and having never won in England in 11 previous encounters.

The Swiss are without veteran keeper Yann Sommer, Juventus midfielder Denis Zakaria and Benfica striker Haris Seferovic, but will have Granit Xhaka making his 99th appearance for his country while former Liverpool man Xherdan Shaqiri is back in England.

Two good defences could limit goals

England are short-priced favourites at 1.73 with the Swiss 6.0 for their first ever away win against England and the draw definitely in play with it being a friendly at 3.75.

England have rattled in over four goals per game in their last seven post-Euros, while Switzerland have scored four times in two of their last three, but before we go expecting a goal fest we best look at their respective defensive records.

They've both conceded just twice in seven games, and the last four head-to-heads have all seen under 2.5 goals.

Under 2.5 goals for this friendly is priced up at 1.73 while both teams to score 'no' weighs in at 1.75 and has also paid out in the last four meetings.

And England win to nil can be backed at 2.64.

Kane can match Chartlon record

Kane is the 2.0 favourite in the anytime scorer market to equal Charlton's 49 England goals, and although guessing line-ups is tricky in friendlies Southgate should go pretty much full strength for this first game.

That should mean Sterling starts, and most likely Phil Foden with Mason Mount perhaps in a deeper role.

Sterling has been excellent for Southgate, especially at the Euros when he scored three goals, and he's added 10 league goals for Man City this season.

Mount is another favourite of the England manager and although he's got just one assist to show for his last 10 England appearances, he's got eight goals and seven assists for Chelsea.

Sterling is 3.25 and Mount 3.5 in the anytime scorer market.

For the Swiss, Shaqiri is 5.5 to score as he did three times at the Euros, and he's sure to be lively upon his return to England, while Noah Okafor scored first in their last international and is 10 to repeat the trick here and 4.5 for a goal anytime.

We can't really expect too many goals given the circumstance, but Kane should be the man to get any goals that do come as he'll be well aware of the significance of matching Charlton's tally and has looked pretty sharp of late. He can again carry England to a narrow victory.

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