Bowen set for debut, Kane targets 50th goal – Hungary v England talking points

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England open their Nations League campaign when they travel to Budapest to face Hungary on Saturday.

With the World Cup finals in Qatar now just over five months away, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate will be keen for a strong showing.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the key talking points ahead of the Group A3 fixture.

Closed doors are prised ajar by Hungary

Puskas Arena
There will be fans in attendance at the Puskas Arena (Attila Trenka/PA)

There are expected to be in excess of 35,000 supporters at the Puskas Arena, despite Hungary being hit with UEFA sanctions.

The Three Lions travel to the Hungarian capital for the first time since their 4-0 World Cup qualifying win last September, which was marred by racist chanting from home supporters that landed the Hungarian Football Federation with a two-match stadium ban from FIFA.

UEFA has also ordered Hungary to play three games in empty stadiums, the third of which has been suspended, following the behaviour of fans during Euro 2020.

One of those UEFA bans comes against England this weekend, but PA understands the fixture will now be played in front of a crowd in excess of 35,000 as Hungary make the most of the UEFA regulations on behind-closed-doors fixtures.

Although article 73 of UEFA’s disciplinary regulations caps the number of VIP guests, team delegations, UEFA staff and those holding complimentary tickets, there is no limit on the number of school children invited to the match free of charge – with one adult accompanying every 10 children.

Southgate professed his “surprise” at the figure, but it will be up to his players to make sure they stick to the task at hand.

Bowen set for his England bow?

Jarrod Bowen in training
Jarrod Bowen could make his debut (Mike Egerton/PA)

Jarrod Bowen’s reward for a fine season at West Ham was a maiden call-up to the England squad and he could be in line for his debut.

His chances have been helped by the fact Phil Foden will miss the game in Hungary after Southgate revealed the Manchester City forward has tested positive for coronavirus.

Earlier this week, Bowen likened himself to Foden when asked about the competition for places in the forward positions.

“I think one player I look at in terms of similar to me, similarly left-footed, is Foden,” said Bowen.

“The way he moves around the pitch and the way he is on the ball, he is a special, special talent.

“To even be in the same conversation and position with him is special, but yeah, he’s one of the players in there that I look at.”

Kane aiming for the half-century

Harry Kane
Harry Kane is targeting a 50th England goal (Mike Egerton/PA)

England skipper Harry Kane is now just four goals shy of Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring record.

While he is highly unlikely to reach the former captain’s figure this time out, the Tottenham striker can reach another landmark.

Just one goal against the Hungarians would see him become just the second man to reach 50 England goals.

“I’d like to break it as soon as possible,” he said of Rooney’s 53-goal record on the eve of the Hungary clash.

“I’d love to score as many goals as I can in the next four games before the World Cup and see where we go from there. I’m someone who I feel like doesn’t let that stuff affect me when I’m on the pitch. I have a job to do.”

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