England vs Poland: Harry Kane’s role and full-back selection among key questions for Wembley qualifier

Dan Kilpatrick
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England take on Poland in their third 2022 World Cup qualifier and final match of the current international break on Wednesday night.

As well as representing their most significant test to date on the road to the tournament in Qatar next year, the clash at Wembley is also the Three Lions’ last competitive outing before this summer’s rescheduled European Championship.

England’s stars will no doubt be eager to impress to ensure they are able to book a spot in Gareth Southgate’s final tournament squad.

Here, Standard Sport’s Dan Kilpatrick examines three key issues for England against Poland...

Kane's role under scrutiny

Getty Images
Getty Images

Harry Kane's habit of dropping into midfield came in for strange scrutiny from ITV pundits Ian Wright and Roy Keane during the win over Albania on Sunday, forcing Southgate to back his captain to keep roaming.

With the manager considering starting two speedy wingers in Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard on Wednesday, Kane's service from midfield could prove crucial again after he bagged another assist in Tirana.

England face defensive test

The FA via Getty Images
The FA via Getty Images

Even without Robert Lewandowski, Poland possess two strikers with top-level European experience in Krzysztof Piątek and Arkadiusz Milik.

In response, England could switch to a back three and Piatek and Milik should provide the centre-backs with a stern physical examination, particularly John Stones, who is yet to truly be tested since his return to the squad.

Southgate's full-back question

The FA via Getty Images
The FA via Getty Images

Whether he plays a back three or four, Southgate has fierce competition at full-back. Luke Shaw is pressuring Ben Chilwell, while Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier are battling it out at right-back.

Wednesday’s selections should be revealing as to Southgate's preferred pair, with the manager having said he already knows his possible XI for the Euros.

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