English hopes are well and truly on the rise after their commanding performance against a hapless Panama side.
Harry Kane and the lads smashed six into the South Americans net as even John Stones managed to net himself a neat little brace.
However, it was Kane who stole the headlines once again as he soared to the top of the standings in the race for the tournament Golden Boot with a somewhat fortuitous hat-trick.
Gareth Southgate’s team have been a complete breath of fresh air, and for the first time in a very long time, English fans have enjoyed watching their side at a major tournament.
“Football’s coming home” has rung out in every home and pub in the land but, while there is nothing wrong with getting excited, it needs to be remembered that there is still a lot of work to be done.
Next up for the mighty Three Lion’s is easily their toughest test of the lot as they face a Belgium side that were equally impressive in the last round, routing Tunisia 5-2.
The Belgian’s have traveled to Russia boasting one of the strongest squads the nation has ever assembled and will be confident of halting England’s gathering momentum.
However, if they wish to do that, they will have to figure out how to nullify a certain Harry Kane.
Fortunately, from a Belgian perspective, they possess some more than capable defenders in the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, both of whom are club teammates of Kane’s at Tottenham.
Coach Roberto Martinez will be depending heavily on their expertise when it comes to dealing with the prolific frontman.
Despite his extensive experience though, Alderweireld knows that keeping Kane quiet could prove to be one of the sternest test of his career
Speaking about Kane ahead of Thursday’s showdown, the Belgian outlined just how massive a task he and his defensive colleagues face.
“I know his strength, of course. But his strength is that he’s good at everything. He’s quick, he’s strong, left foot, right foot, headers.
“It’s so difficult to stop him. That’s what I know. As a team, we have to be tough [in order] to beat him.
“He just breathes football. He wants to improve, improve, improve. He’s not only a goal-scorer. He works so hard for the team. He’s available to help the plays. He’s the all-round striker.”
So even those who train with Kane day in, day out, are struggling to see how he can be stopped.
Kane will no doubt be chomping at the bit to get out on the pitch again, and, should recreate his Panama heroics, the country might just run dry on alcohol.
Bring it home, boys.
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