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Celtic head to Munich buoyed and rested after 1-0 defeat of Dundee

A weekend shuffle almost became a stumble for Celtic, but they have not forsaken the prospect of taking a significant stride this week towards European football involvement beyond Christmas. In the league game that preceded the recent international break, the Scottish Premiership leaders were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Hibernian, whose manager, Neil Lennon, felt that his former team tended to be leggy after a Champions League trip. On Saturday, Celtic’s performance against Dundee at Parkhead was again notably short of their best but in this instance, it was the consequence of advance planning for a Champions League expedition. Mindful of the meeting with Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, Brendan Rodgers riffled through his playing pack to make seven changes from the Hibs game but had enough in his hand to come away with a 1-0 win, thanks to an alert strike from Olivier Ntcham on the hour mark. If Ntcham was the man whose low drive from beyond the edge of the box beat Scott Bain for the winner, it was Dorus de Vries who secured Celtic’s 59th successive unbeaten domestic fixture with a trio of crucial saves in the second half. The Dutch goalkeeper had not made a first team appearance since Celtic’s 6-1 rout of Kilmarnock on Sept 24 last year. Although he kept his place despite having to pick the ball from his net seven times during a Champions League battering by Barcelona in the Nou Camp, De Vries was beaten by a strike from more than 40 yards by Souleymane Coulibaye in the Kilmarnock game and was replaced by Craig Gordon, who retained the No 1 position until rested on Saturday. The Dutch keeper had to deal with threats much closer to his line against Dundee, but his spectacular saves from Paul McGowan, Roarie Deacon and Faissal El-Bakhtaoui preserved Celtic’s long undefeated sequence and drew gratifying applause from the crowd, plus enforced appreciation from Dundee's Paul McGowan. Dorus De Vries impressed on his return to the Celtic starting line-up  Credit:  PA “I couldn’t believe the save De Vries made from me,” said McGowan, “I didn’t catch it great but I put it where I wanted it to go and he just clawed it out. He’s not even been playing, so fair play to him. “It was definitely a chance missed. I can’t remember the last team going there and having such chances with the run Celtic are on. “The gaffer wants us to play and I love it. It’s the way to play. Yes, we are going to get caught in possession now and again and you can say it’s a bit iffy at times, but it worked for us at Celtic. They might not have been at full strength, but we gave them a game and they can count themselves lucky to win.” As for Ntcham, his winner added to the confidence gained from his contribution to Celtic’s 3-0 win over Anderlecht in Brussels, when he started poorly but recovered to set up two of his team’s goals. The French midfielder praised his colleague, Scott Brown, for cajoling him into improvement. “There have been times when things have not been so good, maybe when I have not felt so comfortable, and he encourages me to keep going,” Ntcham said. That was what it was like against Anderlecht. Does he say it nicely? Well, you know what it’s like on the pitch.”. Who will win the Champions League? As Celtic draw breath before heading for Germany on Tuesday, Scotland will embark upon their search for a successor to Gordon Strachan, whose tenure as international manager came to an end on Thursday after four years. Already, however, Sam Allardyce has ruled himself out despite being amongst the early runners in the bookies’ odds. The former England manager told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme that, despite having Scottish family connections, it was not a position which appealed to him. “At this moment in time I would be very picky and choosy about any potential managerial jobs if I was to go back in, so that makes it very difficult,” the former England manager said. “You never know what might come up, but if it is something where I could bring a lot of success then I could be interested. It's very tempting but not at this moment in time. “My parents and sister were all born in Scotland, I have heritage from there. I'm enjoying not being involved at the front end of football at the moment. David Moyes would probably be my choice for the Scotland job.” Moyes, though, has also distanced himself from the vacant position, saying that his preference would be a return to club management. Malky Mackay, meanwhile, will take charge of Scotland on an interim basis for the visit of the Netherlands to Pittodrie for a friendly on Nov 9.

Celtic head to Munich buoyed and rested after 1-0 defeat of Dundee

A weekend shuffle almost became a stumble for Celtic, but they have not forsaken the prospect of taking a significant stride this week towards European football involvement beyond Christmas. In the league game that preceded the recent international break, the Scottish Premiership leaders were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Hibernian, whose manager, Neil Lennon, felt that his former team tended to be leggy after a Champions League trip. On Saturday, Celtic’s performance against Dundee at Parkhead was again notably short of their best but in this instance, it was the consequence of advance planning for a Champions League expedition. Mindful of the meeting with Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, Brendan Rodgers riffled through his playing pack to make seven changes from the Hibs game but had enough in his hand to come away with a 1-0 win, thanks to an alert strike from Olivier Ntcham on the hour mark. If Ntcham was the man whose low drive from beyond the edge of the box beat Scott Bain for the winner, it was Dorus de Vries who secured Celtic’s 59th successive unbeaten domestic fixture with a trio of crucial saves in the second half. The Dutch goalkeeper had not made a first team appearance since Celtic’s 6-1 rout of Kilmarnock on Sept 24 last year. Although he kept his place despite having to pick the ball from his net seven times during a Champions League battering by Barcelona in the Nou Camp, De Vries was beaten by a strike from more than 40 yards by Souleymane Coulibaye in the Kilmarnock game and was replaced by Craig Gordon, who retained the No 1 position until rested on Saturday. The Dutch keeper had to deal with threats much closer to his line against Dundee, but his spectacular saves from Paul McGowan, Roarie Deacon and Faissal El-Bakhtaoui preserved Celtic’s long undefeated sequence and drew gratifying applause from the crowd, plus enforced appreciation from Dundee's Paul McGowan. Dorus De Vries impressed on his return to the Celtic starting line-up  Credit:  PA “I couldn’t believe the save De Vries made from me,” said McGowan, “I didn’t catch it great but I put it where I wanted it to go and he just clawed it out. He’s not even been playing, so fair play to him. “It was definitely a chance missed. I can’t remember the last team going there and having such chances with the run Celtic are on. “The gaffer wants us to play and I love it. It’s the way to play. Yes, we are going to get caught in possession now and again and you can say it’s a bit iffy at times, but it worked for us at Celtic. They might not have been at full strength, but we gave them a game and they can count themselves lucky to win.” As for Ntcham, his winner added to the confidence gained from his contribution to Celtic’s 3-0 win over Anderlecht in Brussels, when he started poorly but recovered to set up two of his team’s goals. The French midfielder praised his colleague, Scott Brown, for cajoling him into improvement. “There have been times when things have not been so good, maybe when I have not felt so comfortable, and he encourages me to keep going,” Ntcham said. That was what it was like against Anderlecht. Does he say it nicely? Well, you know what it’s like on the pitch.”. Who will win the Champions League? As Celtic draw breath before heading for Germany on Tuesday, Scotland will embark upon their search for a successor to Gordon Strachan, whose tenure as international manager came to an end on Thursday after four years. Already, however, Sam Allardyce has ruled himself out despite being amongst the early runners in the bookies’ odds. The former England manager told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme that, despite having Scottish family connections, it was not a position which appealed to him. “At this moment in time I would be very picky and choosy about any potential managerial jobs if I was to go back in, so that makes it very difficult,” the former England manager said. “You never know what might come up, but if it is something where I could bring a lot of success then I could be interested. It's very tempting but not at this moment in time. “My parents and sister were all born in Scotland, I have heritage from there. I'm enjoying not being involved at the front end of football at the moment. David Moyes would probably be my choice for the Scotland job.” Moyes, though, has also distanced himself from the vacant position, saying that his preference would be a return to club management. Malky Mackay, meanwhile, will take charge of Scotland on an interim basis for the visit of the Netherlands to Pittodrie for a friendly on Nov 9.

New Scotland manager must prioritise making headway in inaugural Uefa Nations League

Whoever is installed as the next Scotland manager – and David Moyes is still favourite with most bookmakers – his priority will be making headway in the inaugural Uefa Nations League, according to SFA chief executive Stewart Regan. The format of the tournament is abstruse but it feeds into the next European Championship, for which Hampden Park will be a host venue, hence its importance – especially after Scotland’s failure to make the World Cup play-offs. “There are Euro 2020 places linked to the Nations League and each of the four leagues, and Scotland are top seeds in Group C, the third tier,” said Regan. “One team from that third tier will come through to Euro 2020. “We’ve got two chances, so those Nations games will be really important. We won’t go into them thinking they are friendly matches. They are absolutely essential for us to have a second chance of making the tournament.  “We’re entering an interesting phase, starting in 2018, because of the new competition formats and the way that the Nations League works, followed by the qualifiers, followed by the Nations League. Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup Credit: AP “It potentially produces a situation when you’ll have feast and famine years. In the Nations League we’ll be playing matches on friendly dates in a new competitive format against teams of a similar standard. The potential is the attendances might not be as great as they would be if you were playing a glamour side like Germany or Spain, or one of the big six. “That’s got the potential to have an impact on revenue streams. In terms of the most recent times, it would have been great to do a Wales or a Northern Ireland. I think in Wales’ case they brought in €18 million from reaching the semi-finals of the Euros. “Probably half of that in the case of Northern Ireland. But we are where we are and have our own resources, supplemented by income from Fifa and Uefa, as well as the public sector. We do what we feel is the right thing to develop the game within that.” The SFA board was the target for critical – and sometimes abusive – comment on social media for their decision to appoint Malky MacKay as interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands for a friendly at Pittodrie on November 9. MacKay, was involved in email exchanges, some of which contained racist, misogynist and homophobic comments, with the director of recruitment at Cardiff when both men were employed by the club. Malky MacKay is interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands Credit: AFP After apologising for his behaviour and attending diversity and inclusion classes, MacKay was appointed as the SFA’s performance director. Of MacKay’s duties next month, Regan said: “It’s about Malky’s experience as a football manager and asking him to step up on an exceptional basis to lead the team for a friendly. “We wanted someone who could manage a group of players and he knows a lot of them already. It’s simply a case of using the resources we have to take the team for a friendly match. “Malky’s our performance director and has one of the most senior roles within the organisation. He’s been a breath of fresh air since coming to the Scottish FA. He’s very well respected and gets on well with the clubs, from academy to chief executive and chairman level. He’s been a fantastic recruit.” The league season resumed after the international break with Celtic bidding for a 59th successive domestic fixture unbeaten when they hosted Dundee. Brendan Rodgers made several changes to his regular line-up, with Dorus De Vries making his first appearance in goal this season, and appearances for Cristian Gamboa and Eboue Kouassi. The personnel switches seemed to blunt Celtic’s customary incisiveness, with only a curling effort from Callum McGregor, which went wide of the far post, plus a drive by Scott Sinclair into the arms of Scott Bain to show for their work. Dundee, though, could not take advantage of the Hoops’ muted threat and De Vries dealt with the single alarm in his box with a comfortable clutch from a shot from A-Jay Leitch-Smith. De Vries earned his corn with two superlative saves from powerful close-range efforts by Paul McGowan and Roary Deacon midway through the second half, by which point Celtic had taken the lead through a low, swirling finish from Olivier Ntcham. Aberdeen, meanwhile, stayed level on points with the leaders with a victory over Hibernian in an absorbing contest at Easter Road, where Gary Mackay-Steven settled the issue with his first league goal of the season for the Dons. Elsewhere, Motherwell beat Hamilton 2-1 in the Lanarkshire derby, as did Hearts against Ross County in Dingwall and Partick Thistle went bottom in a 2-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at the Energy Check Stadium.

New Scotland manager must prioritise making headway in inaugural Uefa Nations League

Whoever is installed as the next Scotland manager – and David Moyes is still favourite with most bookmakers – his priority will be making headway in the inaugural Uefa Nations League, according to SFA chief executive Stewart Regan. The format of the tournament is abstruse but it feeds into the next European Championship, for which Hampden Park will be a host venue, hence its importance – especially after Scotland’s failure to make the World Cup play-offs. “There are Euro 2020 places linked to the Nations League and each of the four leagues, and Scotland are top seeds in Group C, the third tier,” said Regan. “One team from that third tier will come through to Euro 2020. “We’ve got two chances, so those Nations games will be really important. We won’t go into them thinking they are friendly matches. They are absolutely essential for us to have a second chance of making the tournament.  “We’re entering an interesting phase, starting in 2018, because of the new competition formats and the way that the Nations League works, followed by the qualifiers, followed by the Nations League. Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup Credit: AP “It potentially produces a situation when you’ll have feast and famine years. In the Nations League we’ll be playing matches on friendly dates in a new competitive format against teams of a similar standard. The potential is the attendances might not be as great as they would be if you were playing a glamour side like Germany or Spain, or one of the big six. “That’s got the potential to have an impact on revenue streams. In terms of the most recent times, it would have been great to do a Wales or a Northern Ireland. I think in Wales’ case they brought in €18 million from reaching the semi-finals of the Euros. “Probably half of that in the case of Northern Ireland. But we are where we are and have our own resources, supplemented by income from Fifa and Uefa, as well as the public sector. We do what we feel is the right thing to develop the game within that.” The SFA board was the target for critical – and sometimes abusive – comment on social media for their decision to appoint Malky MacKay as interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands for a friendly at Pittodrie on November 9. MacKay, was involved in email exchanges, some of which contained racist, misogynist and homophobic comments, with the director of recruitment at Cardiff when both men were employed by the club. Malky MacKay is interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands Credit: AFP After apologising for his behaviour and attending diversity and inclusion classes, MacKay was appointed as the SFA’s performance director. Of MacKay’s duties next month, Regan said: “It’s about Malky’s experience as a football manager and asking him to step up on an exceptional basis to lead the team for a friendly. “We wanted someone who could manage a group of players and he knows a lot of them already. It’s simply a case of using the resources we have to take the team for a friendly match. “Malky’s our performance director and has one of the most senior roles within the organisation. He’s been a breath of fresh air since coming to the Scottish FA. He’s very well respected and gets on well with the clubs, from academy to chief executive and chairman level. He’s been a fantastic recruit.” The league season resumed after the international break with Celtic bidding for a 59th successive domestic fixture unbeaten when they hosted Dundee. Brendan Rodgers made several changes to his regular line-up, with Dorus De Vries making his first appearance in goal this season, and appearances for Cristian Gamboa and Eboue Kouassi. The personnel switches seemed to blunt Celtic’s customary incisiveness, with only a curling effort from Callum McGregor, which went wide of the far post, plus a drive by Scott Sinclair into the arms of Scott Bain to show for their work. Dundee, though, could not take advantage of the Hoops’ muted threat and De Vries dealt with the single alarm in his box with a comfortable clutch from a shot from A-Jay Leitch-Smith. De Vries earned his corn with two superlative saves from powerful close-range efforts by Paul McGowan and Roary Deacon midway through the second half, by which point Celtic had taken the lead through a low, swirling finish from Olivier Ntcham. Aberdeen, meanwhile, stayed level on points with the leaders with a victory over Hibernian in an absorbing contest at Easter Road, where Gary Mackay-Steven settled the issue with his first league goal of the season for the Dons. Elsewhere, Motherwell beat Hamilton 2-1 in the Lanarkshire derby, as did Hearts against Ross County in Dingwall and Partick Thistle went bottom in a 2-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at the Energy Check Stadium.

New Scotland manager must prioritise making headway in inaugural Uefa Nations League

Whoever is installed as the next Scotland manager – and David Moyes is still favourite with most bookmakers – his priority will be making headway in the inaugural Uefa Nations League, according to SFA chief executive Stewart Regan. The format of the tournament is abstruse but it feeds into the next European Championship, for which Hampden Park will be a host venue, hence its importance – especially after Scotland’s failure to make the World Cup play-offs. “There are Euro 2020 places linked to the Nations League and each of the four leagues, and Scotland are top seeds in Group C, the third tier,” said Regan. “One team from that third tier will come through to Euro 2020. “We’ve got two chances, so those Nations games will be really important. We won’t go into them thinking they are friendly matches. They are absolutely essential for us to have a second chance of making the tournament.  “We’re entering an interesting phase, starting in 2018, because of the new competition formats and the way that the Nations League works, followed by the qualifiers, followed by the Nations League. Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup Credit: AP “It potentially produces a situation when you’ll have feast and famine years. In the Nations League we’ll be playing matches on friendly dates in a new competitive format against teams of a similar standard. The potential is the attendances might not be as great as they would be if you were playing a glamour side like Germany or Spain, or one of the big six. “That’s got the potential to have an impact on revenue streams. In terms of the most recent times, it would have been great to do a Wales or a Northern Ireland. I think in Wales’ case they brought in €18 million from reaching the semi-finals of the Euros. “Probably half of that in the case of Northern Ireland. But we are where we are and have our own resources, supplemented by income from Fifa and Uefa, as well as the public sector. We do what we feel is the right thing to develop the game within that.” The SFA board was the target for critical – and sometimes abusive – comment on social media for their decision to appoint Malky MacKay as interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands for a friendly at Pittodrie on November 9. MacKay, was involved in email exchanges, some of which contained racist, misogynist and homophobic comments, with the director of recruitment at Cardiff when both men were employed by the club. Malky MacKay is interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands Credit: AFP After apologising for his behaviour and attending diversity and inclusion classes, MacKay was appointed as the SFA’s performance director. Of MacKay’s duties next month, Regan said: “It’s about Malky’s experience as a football manager and asking him to step up on an exceptional basis to lead the team for a friendly. “We wanted someone who could manage a group of players and he knows a lot of them already. It’s simply a case of using the resources we have to take the team for a friendly match. “Malky’s our performance director and has one of the most senior roles within the organisation. He’s been a breath of fresh air since coming to the Scottish FA. He’s very well respected and gets on well with the clubs, from academy to chief executive and chairman level. He’s been a fantastic recruit.” The league season resumed after the international break with Celtic bidding for a 59th successive domestic fixture unbeaten when they hosted Dundee. Brendan Rodgers made several changes to his regular line-up, with Dorus De Vries making his first appearance in goal this season, and appearances for Cristian Gamboa and Eboue Kouassi. The personnel switches seemed to blunt Celtic’s customary incisiveness, with only a curling effort from Callum McGregor, which went wide of the far post, plus a drive by Scott Sinclair into the arms of Scott Bain to show for their work. Dundee, though, could not take advantage of the Hoops’ muted threat and De Vries dealt with the single alarm in his box with a comfortable clutch from a shot from A-Jay Leitch-Smith. De Vries earned his corn with two superlative saves from powerful close-range efforts by Paul McGowan and Roary Deacon midway through the second half, by which point Celtic had taken the lead through a low, swirling finish from Olivier Ntcham. Aberdeen, meanwhile, stayed level on points with the leaders with a victory over Hibernian in an absorbing contest at Easter Road, where Gary Mackay-Steven settled the issue with his first league goal of the season for the Dons. Elsewhere, Motherwell beat Hamilton 2-1 in the Lanarkshire derby, as did Hearts against Ross County in Dingwall and Partick Thistle went bottom in a 2-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at the Energy Check Stadium.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan must wait as SFA decides his fate

There are no pathologists on the Scottish Football Association board, rather surprisingly, given that Hampden Park rivals Midsomer for frequency of post-mortems. The latest will be conducted on Thursday and will consider the perplexing case of the 10th consecutive failure to qualify for the finals of a major tournament over a span of two decades. The meeting was scheduled as a matter of routine, although the board members nourished the possibility that they would not be required to undertake a debrief of Gordon Strachan’s World Cup campaign until after the play-offs next month. That fond hope was dashed by the brace of goals scored by Roman Bezjak for Slovenia in Sunday’s 2-2 draw in Ljubljana which put an end to both countries’ hopes of progress. Strachan’s current contract ends next month – again, an allowance was made for the possibility of participation in the play-offs – but he has not indicated a desire to depart after the latest disappointment. Stewart Regan, the SFA chief executive, has had a preliminary discussion with Strachan and has stated that there will be “no knee-jerk reaction” nor “a stopwatch ticking on the decision.” The manager, meanwhile, has not headed for his property in La Manga, a welcome bolthole after periods of intense activity. Instead, he has busied himself with matters relating to the Strachan Football Foundation, of which he is a director. The immediate aftermath of Sunday’s qualifier was effectively a preview of the board’s discussion points, with reaction splitting into predictable camps. On the one side are those who believe that Strachan’s loyalty to certain players mutates into obstinacy, especially when alternatives are promoted by the media, most recently in the cases of Callum McGregor of Celtic and Hibernian’s John McGinn. Scotland fell just short of reaching the World Cup play-offs The charge extends to his preference for Chris Martin over Leigh Griffiths in the early stages of the campaign, which generated prejudice within the ranks of the Tartan Army which came to a head when Slovenia visited Hampden in March. Griffiths missed two glorious opportunities in swift succession and when Martin replaced him, with eight minutes left to play, the substitution was jeered loudly. Martin, though, scored the winner with two minutes left to signal the Scots’ revival in the section. Griffiths, it might also be noted, was not an automatic starter for Celtic in the first half of last season, having been displaced by Moussa Dembele and warned by Brendan Rodgers about his lifestyle. It was, in fact, a significant stroke of good fortune for Strachan that Rodgers arrived at Parkhead in the summer of 2016, because the Celtic manager extracted notable performances and effort, not only from Griffiths, but from Scott Brown, Craig Gordon, Stewart Armstrong, Kieran Tierney and James Forrest, who became the core of Scotland’s efforts during the resurrection of their hopes in a sequence of four victories and two draws, which took the team to the verge of the play-offs. The enforced absence of Brown and Armstrong in Scotland’s final two qualifiers was manifest, particularly in Slovenia. That said, Strachan’s persistence with the below-par Matt Phillips and James McArthur until the closing stages of Sunday’s contest, was bound to be contentious. On another evening, the achievement of being the only team in Group F to score against the Slovenes on their own soil, would have been ranked as an accomplishment. Instead, failure to secure qualification made the feat all the more painful. Nor did it help Strachan’s case that he moved into realms of fantasy when trying to explain the mundane fact that his team selection and tactics had been dictated in part because of a lack of height in his squad. By expostulating about genetics and – even more bizarrely – appearing to propose a breeding programme involving the nation’s taller women being persuaded to lie back and think of Scotland, he opened the floodgates of ridicule. Acres of newsprint and masses of megabytes of social media were devoted to satire and scorn. With one’s ears to the ground – in which respect Scots have an advantage, being rather nearer to it than most other nations – it seems that Strachan is not for walking. Whether or not a plank will be provided for him to traverse, we must wait to discover.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan must wait as SFA decides his fate

There are no pathologists on the Scottish Football Association board, rather surprisingly, given that Hampden Park rivals Midsomer for frequency of post-mortems. The latest will be conducted on Thursday and will consider the perplexing case of the 10th consecutive failure to qualify for the finals of a major tournament over a span of two decades. The meeting was scheduled as a matter of routine, although the board members nourished the possibility that they would not be required to undertake a debrief of Gordon Strachan’s World Cup campaign until after the play-offs next month. That fond hope was dashed by the brace of goals scored by Roman Bezjak for Slovenia in Sunday’s 2-2 draw in Ljubljana which put an end to both countries’ hopes of progress. Strachan’s current contract ends next month – again, an allowance was made for the possibility of participation in the play-offs – but he has not indicated a desire to depart after the latest disappointment. Stewart Regan, the SFA chief executive, has had a preliminary discussion with Strachan and has stated that there will be “no knee-jerk reaction” nor “a stopwatch ticking on the decision.” The manager, meanwhile, has not headed for his property in La Manga, a welcome bolthole after periods of intense activity. Instead, he has busied himself with matters relating to the Strachan Football Foundation, of which he is a director. The immediate aftermath of Sunday’s qualifier was effectively a preview of the board’s discussion points, with reaction splitting into predictable camps. On the one side are those who believe that Strachan’s loyalty to certain players mutates into obstinacy, especially when alternatives are promoted by the media, most recently in the cases of Callum McGregor of Celtic and Hibernian’s John McGinn. Scotland fell just short of reaching the World Cup play-offs The charge extends to his preference for Chris Martin over Leigh Griffiths in the early stages of the campaign, which generated prejudice within the ranks of the Tartan Army which came to a head when Slovenia visited Hampden in March. Griffiths missed two glorious opportunities in swift succession and when Martin replaced him, with eight minutes left to play, the substitution was jeered loudly. Martin, though, scored the winner with two minutes left to signal the Scots’ revival in the section. Griffiths, it might also be noted, was not an automatic starter for Celtic in the first half of last season, having been displaced by Moussa Dembele and warned by Brendan Rodgers about his lifestyle. It was, in fact, a significant stroke of good fortune for Strachan that Rodgers arrived at Parkhead in the summer of 2016, because the Celtic manager extracted notable performances and effort, not only from Griffiths, but from Scott Brown, Craig Gordon, Stewart Armstrong, Kieran Tierney and James Forrest, who became the core of Scotland’s efforts during the resurrection of their hopes in a sequence of four victories and two draws, which took the team to the verge of the play-offs. The enforced absence of Brown and Armstrong in Scotland’s final two qualifiers was manifest, particularly in Slovenia. That said, Strachan’s persistence with the below-par Matt Phillips and James McArthur until the closing stages of Sunday’s contest, was bound to be contentious. On another evening, the achievement of being the only team in Group F to score against the Slovenes on their own soil, would have been ranked as an accomplishment. Instead, failure to secure qualification made the feat all the more painful. Nor did it help Strachan’s case that he moved into realms of fantasy when trying to explain the mundane fact that his team selection and tactics had been dictated in part because of a lack of height in his squad. By expostulating about genetics and – even more bizarrely – appearing to propose a breeding programme involving the nation’s taller women being persuaded to lie back and think of Scotland, he opened the floodgates of ridicule. Acres of newsprint and masses of megabytes of social media were devoted to satire and scorn. With one’s ears to the ground – in which respect Scots have an advantage, being rather nearer to it than most other nations – it seems that Strachan is not for walking. Whether or not a plank will be provided for him to traverse, we must wait to discover.

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane scores penalty in yet another dreary display by Southgate's strugglers

Supporters walking out in Malta, paper airplanes at Wembley and, here, an ironic chant of “it’s just like watching Brazil”. It really wasn’t. But this is England 2017. They are at next summer’s World Cup, and finished their qualification campaign with another victory over Lithuania but this was all about the performance and not the points. And in that England were not winners. They have to, they just have to, play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring. If Lithuania had Harry Kane they would have won. It was that damning for England. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the England captaincy. Four times the striker has led his country, each time he has scored, becoming the first England player ever to do so. Spot bonus: Harry Kane scored a penalty Credit: Getty But then we always knew that Kane is not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available. They are the issues. This was almost as lacklustre as last Thursday when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup. Kane scored in that match too, of course. Thursday was about a result. This was about a performance. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing there are signs of encouragement. To be blunt, those were hard to detect. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters Harry Winks made his debut, along with Harry Maguire, in seven changes and is certainly worth persevering with. But others need to take a hard look at themselves, and not least the man alongside Winks in central midfield, the most experienced player on the pitch for England: Jordan Henderson. He was poor. This was the youngest England team to take to the pitch for 15 years – average age 23.7 years – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that. This team is young and relatively inexperienced, with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney. It was also the first time in a decade that England had started a competitive fixture with three at the back and while that is worth persevering with it has to have full-backs who want to be wing-backs. It has to be braver and more aggressive. At times, against such limited opposition, England played a back-five – and still conceded good chances. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Where there was hope, before that also frittered out, was with the front three which, ironically, included two of the youngest players in Marcus Rashford – 19 until the end of this month – and 21-year-old Dele Alli. Alli was recalled after his one-match suspension for his raised finger gesture and it was he who earned England their first-half penalty. It was a soft concession, a marginal call. That incident also involved a rare positive contribution from Henderson, who headed the ball down into Alli’s path before he was caught by Linas Klimavicius, tumbling over. Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his last six games and, also, his 15th in his last 10 matches for club and country. That is some form. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters England should have scored before they did. Maguire’s attempted header to meet Aaron Cresswell’s cross saw him miss the ball after it took a slight deflection, but then he slipped.  At the other end, John Stones was slow to react, Darvydas Sernas was not, and he improvised a back-heel volley as he met Vytautas Andriuskevicius’s low ball into the penalty area. He stabbed it just past the post and into the side-netting. There were other first-half chances with the ball breaking to Michael Keane on the edge of the Lithuanian area, after a mix-up, but he fired narrowly wide and then Rashford took the ball to the by-line, dragged it back, cut inside another defender and curled a left foot shot that was pushed out by goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus. Mac attack: the England faitthful Credit: PA Into the second-half quick feet from Winks saw him force an even better save by Setkus as he pushed out a rising shot. It was then down to Jack Butland to save England as Lithuania broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych, who whipped in a cross that a panicky Keane cut out before it reached Sernas behind him only to send the ball goalwards. Butland reacted sharply to turn it away for a corner. It got worse. There was another failure to clear the ball properly, involving Stones and Cresswell, and it was back-heeled into Sernas’ path by Vykintas Slivka. With a sight of goal he blazed wildly over. It was better from Cresswell at the other end as he stole in to meet Henderson’s deep cross but his header was pushed over the bar by Setkus. Alli – who faded – and Rashford were withdrawn with substitute Daniel Sturridge fluffing a couple of chances and having a goal-bound shot blocked but it was Lithuania who should have scored when substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear. He shot early and straight at Butland who collected it easily. If only England had created such chances for Kane. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane delivers again in yet another dreary display for Gareth Southgate's strugglers

Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham Hotspur as “the Harry Kane team” but his phrase is far more ­applicable to another side who play in white. Where would England be without Kane? It is no stretch to say that if he had been born in Lithuania and not London then they might well not have won their final World Cup qualifier. It was that damning. The hosts had enough chances and the striker would have taken at least one of them. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the captaincy. Four times he has led his country, each time Kane has scored, becoming the first player ever to do so, with his first-half penalty proving decisive. But then we always knew that Kane was not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available, especially in midfield. There are the issues. This was as lacklustre as last Thursday, given the modesty of the opposition, when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup at the head of Group F – with another Kane goal, of course, that night.  Subbed par: Dele Alli had an indifferent match and was subbed off by Southgate Credit: PA Here the result really did not matter. This was about that performance not points. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing that there are signs for ­encouragement and, frankly, it was a loss in that regard. Those signs were not there. There are issues for the manager, also. It cries out louder and louder: what is his plan? What does he want from his England team? They are slow, painfully so, and lacking in courage on the ball. Southgate spoke about being “a fraction off” but it was a gulf. The plastic pitch did not help but that excuse only goes so far. What has Lionel Messi ever won for Argentina? 38:05 Supporters walking out in Malta, paper aeroplanes at Wembley and, against Lithuania, an ironic chant of “It’s just like watching Brazil”. It really was not. But this is England 2017. They have to play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring, although the travelling fans, despite the football, despite being exposed to the cold and pouring rain, wrapping themselves in ponchos, stayed behind their even soggier team. This was the youngest England line-up for 15 years – average age 23.7 – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that, plus the fact Southgate made seven changes. Young and, also, relatively inexperienced with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney, alone, amassed during his international career. It was also the first time in over a decade, since the Steve McClaren debacle away to Croatia, that England had started a competitive fixture with “three at the back”, and while that is definitely worth persevering with, it has to be with full-backs who want to be wing-backs against opposition such as this. It has to be far braver and much more aggressive. At times, England played a back five – and still conceded good chances. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters There were three full debuts – Aaron Cresswell, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and it was Winks, another Spurs player, who was the pick, and maybe England’s best player. At least the 21-year-old tried to fill the creative void and ­attempted to pass the ball forward and he almost scored in the second-half when his quick feet created space only for goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus to push his shot over. There has to be hope, also, in a front three of Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford, but it was so disappointing that they started well and then faded. Rashford showed flashes, Alli won the penalty but was poor, which is a growing worry now, and Kane persevered but had so little service. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Alongside Winks, this was another concerning performance from Jordan Henderson, whose passing was simply not good enough. Yet Henderson, also, was involved in the penalty award as he headed the ball into the area for Alli to collect before he was challenged by Linas Klimavicius and tumbled over. The spot-kick was given when it probably should not and Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his past six games, his 15th in his past 10 matches for club and country and his 43rd in 37 appearances in 2017. Only four of those have been penalties. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters Southgate had spoken about England not having “big players”, meaning players who had won things, but Kane deserves to be categorised as one for those phenomenal numbers alone. There were some chances. Maguire missed the ball with an attempted close-range header, Michael Keane shot wide, Rashford cut back and forced a fine save from Setkus who also did well to divert a Cresswell header over the cross-bar. Late on, there was a flurry of opportunities for substitute Daniel Sturridge which he wasted or had blocked. But that was it. Against that, Lithuania, whose only win in their qualification campaign, from 10 matches, was against Malta, went close, with striker Darvydas Sernas unfortunate when his clever, improvised back-heeled volley flew just past the post and into the side-netting as he stole in front of a dozing John Stones.  Mac attack: the England faithful Credit: PA But, after that, Sernas snatched at openings, blazing over on a couple of occasions before, after he was replaced, substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear but shot early and straight at goalkeeper Jack Butland. Lithuania, though, went closest when they broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych who whipped in a cross that Keane cut out before it reached Sernas only to fire in an inadvertent shot with Butland reacting to turn it away. So, England won. This was their last competitive game before the World Cup. They have a lot of work to do. They cannot be the Harry Kane team, no matter how good he is. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Lithuania 0 England 1: Harry Kane scores penalty in yet another dreary display by Southgate's strugglers

Supporters walking out in Malta, paper airplanes at Wembley and, here, an ironic chant of “it’s just like watching Brazil”. It really wasn’t. But this is England 2017. They are at next summer’s World Cup, and finished their qualification campaign with another victory over Lithuania but this was all about the performance and not the points. And in that England were not winners. They have to, they just have to, play better than this. It is, quite frankly, boring. If Lithuania had Harry Kane they would have won. It was that damning for England. One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Kane is not weighed down by the England captaincy. Four times the striker has led his country, each time he has scored, becoming the first England player ever to do so. Spot bonus: Harry Kane scored a penalty Credit: Getty But then we always knew that Kane is not the problem. The heaviness of the England shirt, the fear of playing for the Three Lions, the lack of big players – as manager Gareth Southgate said – and the dearth of talent available. They are the issues. This was almost as lacklustre as last Thursday when England stumbled to victory over Slovenia to seal their qualification for next summer’s World Cup. Kane scored in that match too, of course. Thursday was about a result. This was about a performance. This was about players showing they deserve to go to Russia and about Southgate showing there are signs of encouragement. To be blunt, those were hard to detect. First timer: Harry Winks made his debut Credit: Action Images via Reuters Harry Winks made his debut, along with Harry Maguire, in seven changes and is certainly worth persevering with. But others need to take a hard look at themselves, and not least the man alongside Winks in central midfield, the most experienced player on the pitch for England: Jordan Henderson. He was poor. This was the youngest England team to take to the pitch for 15 years – average age 23.7 years – and there is a sliver of mitigation in that. This team is young and relatively inexperienced, with 120 caps between them before kick-off – only one more than Wayne Rooney. It was also the first time in a decade that England had started a competitive fixture with three at the back and while that is worth persevering with it has to have full-backs who want to be wing-backs. It has to be braver and more aggressive. At times, against such limited opposition, England played a back-five – and still conceded good chances. Young gun: Marcus Rashford is already an international regular at just 19 Credit: Getty Where there was hope, before that also frittered out, was with the front three which, ironically, included two of the youngest players in Marcus Rashford – 19 until the end of this month – and 21-year-old Dele Alli. Alli was recalled after his one-match suspension for his raised finger gesture and it was he who earned England their first-half penalty. It was a soft concession, a marginal call. That incident also involved a rare positive contribution from Henderson, who headed the ball down into Alli’s path before he was caught by Linas Klimavicius, tumbling over. Kane steered a low right-foot penalty that struck the post and rebounded into the net. It was his 12th goal for England in 23 appearances – his seventh in his last six games and, also, his 15th in his last 10 matches for club and country. That is some form. That England feeling: penalty aside, it was a typically frustrating evening for Harry Kane and his team Credit: Action Images via Reuters England should have scored before they did. Maguire’s attempted header to meet Aaron Cresswell’s cross saw him miss the ball after it took a slight deflection, but then he slipped.  At the other end, John Stones was slow to react, Darvydas Sernas was not, and he improvised a back-heel volley as he met Vytautas Andriuskevicius’s low ball into the penalty area. He stabbed it just past the post and into the side-netting. There were other first-half chances with the ball breaking to Michael Keane on the edge of the Lithuanian area, after a mix-up, but he fired narrowly wide and then Rashford took the ball to the by-line, dragged it back, cut inside another defender and curled a left foot shot that was pushed out by goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus. Mac attack: the England faitthful Credit: PA Into the second-half quick feet from Winks saw him force an even better save by Setkus as he pushed out a rising shot. It was then down to Jack Butland to save England as Lithuania broke down their right through Fiodor Cernych, who whipped in a cross that a panicky Keane cut out before it reached Sernas behind him only to send the ball goalwards. Butland reacted sharply to turn it away for a corner. It got worse. There was another failure to clear the ball properly, involving Stones and Cresswell, and it was back-heeled into Sernas’ path by Vykintas Slivka. With a sight of goal he blazed wildly over. It was better from Cresswell at the other end as he stole in to meet Henderson’s deep cross but his header was pushed over the bar by Setkus. Alli – who faded – and Rashford were withdrawn with substitute Daniel Sturridge fluffing a couple of chances and having a goal-bound shot blocked but it was Lithuania who should have scored when substitute Deivydas Matulevicius, the Hibernian striker, was put clear. He shot early and straight at Butland who collected it easily. If only England had created such chances for Kane. 6:50PM Full time: Lithuania 0 England 1 That's the end of that. The scoreline very much reflecting the performance/action. I don't think I can really face a lengthy debrief. England were alright, same as they always are.  They're going to the World Cup, and that's the main thing. Jason Burt's match report here ASAP. Cheers. 6:47PM 90+ mins Slivka off. Chvedukas is the man to come on. Ball slung into the England box... but way over. And that's the end of that. 6:47PM 90 mins A chance for Sturridge! The ball's played across, Sturridge lashes it. Blocked. Corner. played in looking for and England man... Stones foul. 6:44PM SCOTLAND have equalised just to gather a bit of altitude before the inevitable crushing disappointment meaning that they have about 2 minutes plus stoppage time to find a winner. 6:43PM 85 mins Chance for Lithuania!  And it's big  Deivydas Matulevičius! The Hibee bursts through onto a flick-on, and... hits his shot straight at the keeper. Like, he could hardly have hit it more accurately into Jack Butland's arms if he had been trying to dink it into a bucket at a funfair.  Clive T is all "he's played 36 times for Lithuania, guess how many he has scored in his last 20? That's right, none." Yeah? Well how many goals have YOU scored for Lithuania, Tyldesley. Lay off our boy, eh? 6:39PM 83 mins England can most likely look forward to ten minutes of pumpage now, the price they pay for not having put these back in their box in the first hour. Long bomb into the area. 6:38PM 82 mins Sturridge. Control. Shimmy. Shot wide. 6:36PM 80 mins Alli comes off. Slowly. Not his best game. Jesse Lingard the man to replace him. 6:36PM 79 mins England looking for that second. Alli and Kane trying to link but the crispness of their club play is a distant memory once they're in the old Three Lions.  6:33PM 75 mins HIBS HAVE A SECOND PLAYER ON!!! It's the striker Matulevicius, who replaces Sernas. 6:32PM 74 mins Alli has had a couple of moments just now, a run and a bit of skill, a nice towering header back across that needed a touch. 6:31PM 73 mins Ah shame. Poor Scotland. They're now 2-1 down and it's surely all over bar the shouting for their World Cup hopes. 6:28PM 70 mins Harry Kane with a run and shot, it's deflected. Wide. All this game needs now for a bingo is for England to score a streaky second. Sturridge comes off, it's Rashford who makes way. 6:26PM 67 mins That's close! Henderson crosses from the right, Cresswell works the keeper with a header. Decent save, that. 6:25PM Oh god Slovenia have equalised against Scotland. Gordon Strachan's side will miss out on the play-offs as it stands https://t.co/lTnACRH3wFpic.twitter.com/Gmp4VZC8qY— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 6:21PM 63 mins Del Al with a bit of business on the edge of the box, he fires a shot over. 6:19PM 61 mins Sernas links up well Slivka, the Hibernian man with a very nice little lay-off to Sernas the number 10. He cracks  shot at goal, but he hasn't got that right. Looks a useful player, but finishing the weakness. England's fans are celebrating the news of Slovenia's equaliser - not much for them to celebrate about this England display to be honest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) October 8, 2017 6:18PM 60 mins England put together a move, it lacks a little cutting edge, I feel like doing the rest of this in haiku. 6:15PM 56 mins It's with regret/a crushing sense of inevitability that I must report that Scotland have conceded. They gave away a silly freekick, didn't defend it properly and Slovenia are level. 6:12PM 55 mins England's best moment of the match! They get caught on the break, the cross comes in from the right by a Lithuanian feller. And here's Keane. Running back, he meets the ball first time, this is going to be one of the great own goals. He's caught it just perfect, guiding it into the bottom corner... but Butland makes a wonderful save! Well done everyone. 6:10PM 52 mins Winks! Good skills on the edge of the area, twisting and turning, shoots. Easy get. 6:07PM 50 mins Sernas gets and turns, shoots, but it's well over. 6:05PM 48 mins Chance for Lithuania to get it down the wing, Novikovas on the charge, but he loses control.  England now. Trippier with a handy cross in, but well cut out. 6:01PM 46 mins England, who made no personnel changes at the half, start with the ball. 6:01PM Players back out Let's play football! Or something like it anyhow. 5:49PM Half time: Lithuania 0 England 0 It's like any other England qualifier. The Three Lions have been neither impressive nor incisive, but they're good enough to beat this lot all day long. Same old, same old. They settled after the penalty and have had one or two  moments. England's Aaron Cresswell in action with Lithuania's Darvydas Sernas  5:45PM 45 mins Kane stops, looks up, and curls and inviting ball for Creswell, who misses it. With Rashford breaking at pace, England are pressing and looking for their second, but the ref has seen enough for the time being. 5:45PM 44 mins Some nice play from Sernas, who looks to have a bit about him, and he lays it off. England unable to get a tackle in. Weak shot from Cemych dribbles wide. 5:44PM 43 mins Winks with some nice battling to win the ball, and marries that with intelligence to lay it off accurately and briskly. England playing quite well since the goal. 5:43PM 40 mins Alli nice little dart, tries to slip it through to Rashford. He collides with not one but two Lithuanian players. Ouch. No foul. But he needs the physio on. As does the home side's Girdvainis. Both okay. 5:39PM 39 mins Trippier enjoying lots of the ball. Keane is able to get forward and join the attack, encouraging for Gareth Southgate-Badger, he has chosen this formation because it allows the centre halves to get involved. 5:38PM 37 mins Rashford with a neat little tricky run. He cuts in from the right, beats one, beats a second.... but the move flounders. Alli not in much form. Nothing quite working for him. 5:35PM 34 mins  Decent move this from England, Rashford with a nice alert run and precise low cross. Kane! Just wide of the post. Klimavicius, I think, the defender who was pressuring Kane. 5:34PM 32 mins Deep ball in from the right by Winks, the Lithuanian keeper makes a mess of it. It drops for Alli, but it just sort of hits him.  5:33PM SCOTLAND have scored It is of course Leigh Griffiths, what a player that guy is. 5:29PM 29 mins That is five in six for Harry Kane, bless him. Nice bit of play down the right from Lithuania, Novikovas doing some decent work. 5:27PM GOAL! Lithuania 0 England 1  HARRY KANE with a perfect penalty. Right in the corner. Unstoppable. "No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that," says Glenn Hoddle. True dat, Glenda. 5:27PM 26 mins: England win a penalty Alli into the box, mistimed tackle by Verbickas. Clear penalty, no protest no debate. 5:25PM 24 mins Lithuania are pretty sloppy. They make a pig's ear of a clearance and the ball drops kindly for Kane. Rasps a shot wide. 5:24PM 24 mins Creswell has a frekick, England pack the box, chance to sling the ball in. 5:23PM 23 mins Bake-Off's on Channel 4 right now. 5:23PM 22 mins Reprehensible Jordan Henderson has shamefully fouled brave Hibe hero VykintasSlivka. A very minor foul. No danger of a card. 5:22PM 21 mins Alli and Rashford try to dribble their way through.  It's like trying to get a wheelchair through Oxford Circus Victoria line at 5.40pm on a Friday. 5:20PM 19 mins  Lithuania have a corner, it's half cleared, Verbickas has a go.  5:19PM 18 mins Some overpaid pea-heart or other in a white shirt crosses the ball in. There's no England player there. Lithuanian lad in nets gathers it under no pressure. Someone in the crowd's got an air horn 5:18PM 16 mins God it's so boring. This is like one of those Sunday afternoons where you have a third glass of red with your roast, wake up at about half five in front of the telly. Octopussy is on. 5:16PM Beef or salmon? History made in Vilnius tonight, with England defending a small wedding reception for the first time. pic.twitter.com/Wb98KoBuN6— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) October 8, 2017 5:13PM 12 mins After a Lithuanian defensive error, Winks has a chance to play it to the unmarked Alli at the back of the box. His touch is execrable and he loses the ball. 5:12PM 10 mins Big chance! Lovely ball whipped in from Andriuskevicius, Sernas has got in front of his man and made an excellent contact. It's a foot the wrong side of the post. England opened up there and no mistake! 5:09PM 8 mins Novikovas makes alarmingly easy progress down the England right, seems to have a lot of space. Cuts inside but his shot is a turkey. England players, including Dele Alli (c) warm up for Sunday's match against Lithuania Credit: AFP 5:08PM 7 mins Harry Kane with a speculative, uninspired shot from range.  5:05PM 4 mins Creswell with a nice ball in, Maguire with a free header! Ought to have done better from close range. 5:04PM 3 mins Butland, under pressure, shows good feet to find Creswell, who in turn releases Alli. Nice move. Trippier cannot get the cross past the first man. A corner, though. 5:01PM 1 mins And we're off. There is an early freekick for the hosts. Not really cleared. Novikovas fires over. 5:01PM Vykintas Slivka plays for Hibs my team. Go'orn son. He's wearing 14. And the famous Edinburgh Hibees have another representative tonight, Matulevicius is on the bench. 4:57PM Lithuanian anthem I am very happy to report, is extremely long and features heavy use of the crash cymbals. 4:56PM #no fear "The manager has got to get them playing and playing without fear" @IanWright0 on England pic.twitter.com/Q96ylkw2qp— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 8, 2017 4:56PM Filthy weather! Credit: ITV 4:53PM Gareth Southgate We have looked at what we feel out best system will be. We want to start looking at something different, a 3-4-3. We want to pass the ball better. We have three ball-playing centre backs. Winks is a good passer of the ball, of course it is a bit early for him but we think this is a good game for him. 4:44PM Pressure off tonight, England to hammer these? Wouldn't it be great if they could play with a sense of freedom, grow in the jerseys not shrink?  England must learn to embrace the weight of the international shirt like old rivals Germany - @TelegraphDuckerhttps://t.co/QW9E6yTLug— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) October 8, 2017 4:39PM Tipping it down Glamorous affair Credit: Action Images via Reuters 4:35PM England line-up like this we reckon Credit: ITV 4:34PM It's Ryan Giggs! Alongside the more regular Ian Wright and Lee Dixon. 4:32PM Jolly Eastern European  folk Credit: ITV 4:30PM Who's on ITV pundit doody, then? Might it be Wayne? 4:26PM Any Lithuanians in? We're trying and failing here to think of famous Lithuanians. That guy at Hearts. Any suggestions? 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of yore #Lithuanian football legends - Tomas #Danilevicius and Marius #Stankevicius. pic.twitter.com/nOjgRoONpf— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:20PM Lithuanian ledges of the day Starting IX vs. @England: Setkus Andriuskevicius Klimavicius Girdvainis Borovskij Zulpa Slivka Verbickas Cernych Novikovas Sernas pic.twitter.com/nlNcbiWuJ2— Lithuania FF (@ltfutbolas) October 8, 2017 4:14PM Those teams, again Lithuania: Setkus, Andriuskevicius, Girdvainis, Zulpa, Linas Klimavicius, Borovskij, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych. Subs: Zubas, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis, Silenas, Vaitkunas, Matulevicius, Chvedukas, Papsys, Spalvis, Valskis, Cerniauskas. England: Butland, Keane, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Winks, Henderson, Cresswell, Alli, Kane, Rashford. Subs: Pickford, Forster, Smalling, Walker, Cahill, Dier, Livermore, Defoe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Sterling, Lingard.  Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel) 4:12PM Messages of support flooding in, then England have looked like a team of strangers throughout qualification. So why not actually try fielding a team full of strangers. #Southgatehttps://t.co/Ap0uwyFDjU— Dave Birty (@birtydave) October 8, 2017 Aaron Cresswell isn't even the best left-back at West Ham yet he's starting for England today Bring on the World Cup— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) October 8, 2017 Can Scotland please win so I can have a backup team for when England scrape the second round with a point against Djibouti— Joe Hullait (@joehullait) October 8, 2017 4:03PM A three-Harry situation then A great days for Harrys everywhere. 4:00PM Seven changes for the not-so-mighty E England: Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell; Alli, Rashford, Kane Sounds like a work experience team England are putting out later.— Martin S (@supsterjnr) October 8, 2017 3:58PM Team news coming up no doubt What treats lie in store? 3:54PM Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends: it's the England football team, and they're only about to try and play football YET AGAIN. 3:53PM Our preview What is it? It's the World Cup qualifier between Lithuania and England, who secured their place in Russia with Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia.  When is it? On Sunday October 8.  What time is kick-off? 5pm BST.  What TV channel is it on? ITV, with coverage starting at 4.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and follow live minute-by-minute updates.  Harry Kane celebrates sending England to next summer's World Cup  What is the team news, who is injured and suspended? England have no injury concerns following Thursday's Slovenia win and welcome back the suspended Dele Alli. With World Cup qualification secured though, England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to rest the likes of Gary Cahill.  Expected teams: Lithuania (4-2-3-1):  Setkus; Borovskij, Girdvainis, Klimavicius, Andriuskevicius; Zulpa, Slivka;  Cernych, Aernas  Novikovas;  Spalvis  England (3-4-3): Butland; Keane, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Bertrand; Alli, Kane, Sturridge  Dele Alli is available again after suspension  The England squad in full:  Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham, on loan from Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton) Defence: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester), John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham) Midfield: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Winks (Tottenham) Attack: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool). Russia's wacky World Cup stadium with an exterior stand ... What are they saying? Southgate dismissed the idea that England have "big players" in their squad.   "Well, are they big players until they win?" he asked.  "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. "When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. "I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. "Big players are (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Ramos, (Sergio) Busquets, (Toni) Kroos, (Sami) Khedira, (Manuel) Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are. "We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it." Man on a mission: A perfect description of Gareth Southgate What are the odds? Lithuania win - 10/1 England win - 1/3 Draw - 4/1 Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What's our prediction? England to win a drab match 2-1. 

Brendan Rodgers leads continued Northern Irish dominance in Scotland

Scottish football made history on Saturday, although not of a sort that reflects well on native talent. For the first time, only one of the top six clubs in the table is managed by a Scot – Derek McInnes, of Aberdeen. Rangers’ Pedro Caixinha is Portuguese, while the other four – Brendan Rodgers (Celtic), Tommy Wright (St Johnstone), Stephen Robinson (Motherwell) and Neil Lennon (Hibernian) are Northern Irish. The situation is in stark contrast to the annus mirabilis of 2011 when, aside from the native complement at home, no fewer than seven Scots were in charge of Premier League clubs in England. They were Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Paul Lambert (Norwich City), Alex McLeish (Aston Villa), David Moyes (Everton), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool), Steve Kean (Blackburn Rovers) and Owen Coyle (Bolton Wanderers) - Scottish born, of Irish parents. Since then, Northern Irish football has flourished at international level under Michael O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh. “Michael’s done an incredible job with the international team,” Rodgers said. "Stevie Robinson’s starting out and Hibs look very much improved with Neil at the helm. I see a hunger and a desire and a shape to how they’re playing. Tommy Wright is another experienced coach and good manager. “In all of those guys, there’s real love and passion for football and, when you have that, you have a willingness to learn and improve and not just settle on what you’ve achieved.” Derek McInnes is the only Scot in the top six Credit: Getty images Lennon recently remarked on the phenomenon when he said: “The Scottish clubs have picked good managers. Brendan has been a revelation, so has Tommy, I have had my bit and now Stephen is cutting his teeth at Motherwell. I think there will be a few more coming through as well. “The Northern Ireland boys are a little bit of a throwback to the way the Scottish boys have been over the last 20 or 30 years. There is that real work ethic about us.” Rodgers’ Celtic are, of course, the exemplars of that doctrine, the evidence of which is their run of 58 successive domestic games unbeaten, but at one stage at Parkhead on Saturday it seemed that the extraordinary sequence would be ended by Lennon’s Hibs, who fell behind to a neatly worked goal by Callum McGregor after 15 minutes, but who recovered to take the lead with second half strikes from John McGinn. At that stage, many among the home support had recognised the irony that their team’s record was threatened by goals scored by the grandson of a former Celtic chairman, for a side under the guidance of a former Celtic manager. The scenario might have been fulfilled but for a supernatural save by Craig Gordon. Anthony Stokes – a former Celtic striker, of course – had flicked a header towards the back post, where it was met a yard or so from goal by Steven Whittaker with a shot that seemed certain to find the net. Gordon, though, somehow got a glove to the ball and diverted it for a corner to gasps and exclamations from both supports. Anthony Stokes described one of Craig Gordon's saves as 'a worldie' Credit: Getty images “As a striker, you hit shots and you think, ‘Goal – 100%!’ but he pulled off a worldie,” said Stokes of Gordon’s intervention. “That was him again - one of those you just think he’s never going to get. “It was flicked on and I’m just waiting on Whitts to turn it in, but Craig’s on it and it was an unbelievable save. Top, top class goalkeeper.” Asked if the block had been on a par with Gordon’s fabled stop from Zat Knight of Bolton Wanderers in 2010 - which was voted that season’s best save in the Premier League – Stokes said: “I’d have to see it again. “I thought it was a 100% goal but he ends up getting some hand on it. Keepers go through bad spells, like strikers when you’re not scoring, but that’s the standard he’s set throughout his career.” Gordon, meanwhile, confessed that he had not even realised Whittaker had been the thwarted opponent. “I didn’t know until after the game who had hit the shot,” he said. “I threw myself across it and made myself as big as possible and got a strong enough contact on it to put it round the post. “It was a certain goal from that distance and I managed to prevent it, so it’s probably the same feeling as a striker gets when he scores a goal.” There was, though, another goal in the contest, a second from McGregor which settled the outcome at 2-2. The midfielder has now been called to replace his injured club captain, Scott Brown, for Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Slovenia. The Scots must win both to reach the playoffs, unlike O’Neill’s Northern Ireland, who have almost guaranteed that status despite their marginal resources.

Brendan Rodgers leads continued Northern Irish dominance in Scotland

Scottish football made history on Saturday, although not of a sort that reflects well on native talent. For the first time, only one of the top six clubs in the table is managed by a Scot – Derek McInnes, of Aberdeen. Rangers’ Pedro Caixinha is Portuguese, while the other four – Brendan Rodgers (Celtic), Tommy Wright (St Johnstone), Stephen Robinson (Motherwell) and Neil Lennon (Hibernian) are Northern Irish. The situation is in stark contrast to the annus mirabilis of 2011 when, aside from the native complement at home, no fewer than seven Scots were in charge of Premier League clubs in England. They were Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Paul Lambert (Norwich City), Alex McLeish (Aston Villa), David Moyes (Everton), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool), Steve Kean (Blackburn Rovers) and Owen Coyle (Bolton Wanderers) - Scottish born, of Irish parents. Since then, Northern Irish football has flourished at international level under Michael O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh. “Michael’s done an incredible job with the international team,” Rodgers said. "Stevie Robinson’s starting out and Hibs look very much improved with Neil at the helm. I see a hunger and a desire and a shape to how they’re playing. Tommy Wright is another experienced coach and good manager. “In all of those guys, there’s real love and passion for football and, when you have that, you have a willingness to learn and improve and not just settle on what you’ve achieved.” Derek McInnes is the only Scot in the top six Credit: Getty images Lennon recently remarked on the phenomenon when he said: “The Scottish clubs have picked good managers. Brendan has been a revelation, so has Tommy, I have had my bit and now Stephen is cutting his teeth at Motherwell. I think there will be a few more coming through as well. “The Northern Ireland boys are a little bit of a throwback to the way the Scottish boys have been over the last 20 or 30 years. There is that real work ethic about us.” Rodgers’ Celtic are, of course, the exemplars of that doctrine, the evidence of which is their run of 58 successive domestic games unbeaten, but at one stage at Parkhead on Saturday it seemed that the extraordinary sequence would be ended by Lennon’s Hibs, who fell behind to a neatly worked goal by Callum McGregor after 15 minutes, but who recovered to take the lead with second half strikes from John McGinn. At that stage, many among the home support had recognised the irony that their team’s record was threatened by goals scored by the grandson of a former Celtic chairman, for a side under the guidance of a former Celtic manager. The scenario might have been fulfilled but for a supernatural save by Craig Gordon. Anthony Stokes – a former Celtic striker, of course – had flicked a header towards the back post, where it was met a yard or so from goal by Steven Whittaker with a shot that seemed certain to find the net. Gordon, though, somehow got a glove to the ball and diverted it for a corner to gasps and exclamations from both supports. Anthony Stokes described one of Craig Gordon's saves as 'a worldie' Credit: Getty images “As a striker, you hit shots and you think, ‘Goal – 100%!’ but he pulled off a worldie,” said Stokes of Gordon’s intervention. “That was him again - one of those you just think he’s never going to get. “It was flicked on and I’m just waiting on Whitts to turn it in, but Craig’s on it and it was an unbelievable save. Top, top class goalkeeper.” Asked if the block had been on a par with Gordon’s fabled stop from Zat Knight of Bolton Wanderers in 2010 - which was voted that season’s best save in the Premier League – Stokes said: “I’d have to see it again. “I thought it was a 100% goal but he ends up getting some hand on it. Keepers go through bad spells, like strikers when you’re not scoring, but that’s the standard he’s set throughout his career.” Gordon, meanwhile, confessed that he had not even realised Whittaker had been the thwarted opponent. “I didn’t know until after the game who had hit the shot,” he said. “I threw myself across it and made myself as big as possible and got a strong enough contact on it to put it round the post. “It was a certain goal from that distance and I managed to prevent it, so it’s probably the same feeling as a striker gets when he scores a goal.” There was, though, another goal in the contest, a second from McGregor which settled the outcome at 2-2. The midfielder has now been called to replace his injured club captain, Scott Brown, for Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Slovenia. The Scots must win both to reach the playoffs, unlike O’Neill’s Northern Ireland, who have almost guaranteed that status despite their marginal resources.

Brendan Rodgers leads continued Northern Irish dominance in Scotland

Scottish football made history on Saturday, although not of a sort that reflects well on native talent. For the first time, only one of the top six clubs in the table is managed by a Scot – Derek McInnes, of Aberdeen. Rangers’ Pedro Caixinha is Portuguese, while the other four – Brendan Rodgers (Celtic), Tommy Wright (St Johnstone), Stephen Robinson (Motherwell) and Neil Lennon (Hibernian) are Northern Irish. The situation is in stark contrast to the annus mirabilis of 2011 when, aside from the native complement at home, no fewer than seven Scots were in charge of Premier League clubs in England. They were Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Paul Lambert (Norwich City), Alex McLeish (Aston Villa), David Moyes (Everton), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool), Steve Kean (Blackburn Rovers) and Owen Coyle (Bolton Wanderers) - Scottish born, of Irish parents. Since then, Northern Irish football has flourished at international level under Michael O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh. “Michael’s done an incredible job with the international team,” Rodgers said. "Stevie Robinson’s starting out and Hibs look very much improved with Neil at the helm. I see a hunger and a desire and a shape to how they’re playing. Tommy Wright is another experienced coach and good manager. “In all of those guys, there’s real love and passion for football and, when you have that, you have a willingness to learn and improve and not just settle on what you’ve achieved.” Derek McInnes is the only Scot in the top six Credit: Getty images Lennon recently remarked on the phenomenon when he said: “The Scottish clubs have picked good managers. Brendan has been a revelation, so has Tommy, I have had my bit and now Stephen is cutting his teeth at Motherwell. I think there will be a few more coming through as well. “The Northern Ireland boys are a little bit of a throwback to the way the Scottish boys have been over the last 20 or 30 years. There is that real work ethic about us.” Rodgers’ Celtic are, of course, the exemplars of that doctrine, the evidence of which is their run of 58 successive domestic games unbeaten, but at one stage at Parkhead on Saturday it seemed that the extraordinary sequence would be ended by Lennon’s Hibs, who fell behind to a neatly worked goal by Callum McGregor after 15 minutes, but who recovered to take the lead with second half strikes from John McGinn. At that stage, many among the home support had recognised the irony that their team’s record was threatened by goals scored by the grandson of a former Celtic chairman, for a side under the guidance of a former Celtic manager. The scenario might have been fulfilled but for a supernatural save by Craig Gordon. Anthony Stokes – a former Celtic striker, of course – had flicked a header towards the back post, where it was met a yard or so from goal by Steven Whittaker with a shot that seemed certain to find the net. Gordon, though, somehow got a glove to the ball and diverted it for a corner to gasps and exclamations from both supports. Anthony Stokes described one of Craig Gordon's saves as 'a worldie' Credit: Getty images “As a striker, you hit shots and you think, ‘Goal – 100%!’ but he pulled off a worldie,” said Stokes of Gordon’s intervention. “That was him again - one of those you just think he’s never going to get. “It was flicked on and I’m just waiting on Whitts to turn it in, but Craig’s on it and it was an unbelievable save. Top, top class goalkeeper.” Asked if the block had been on a par with Gordon’s fabled stop from Zat Knight of Bolton Wanderers in 2010 - which was voted that season’s best save in the Premier League – Stokes said: “I’d have to see it again. “I thought it was a 100% goal but he ends up getting some hand on it. Keepers go through bad spells, like strikers when you’re not scoring, but that’s the standard he’s set throughout his career.” Gordon, meanwhile, confessed that he had not even realised Whittaker had been the thwarted opponent. “I didn’t know until after the game who had hit the shot,” he said. “I threw myself across it and made myself as big as possible and got a strong enough contact on it to put it round the post. “It was a certain goal from that distance and I managed to prevent it, so it’s probably the same feeling as a striker gets when he scores a goal.” There was, though, another goal in the contest, a second from McGregor which settled the outcome at 2-2. The midfielder has now been called to replace his injured club captain, Scott Brown, for Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Slovenia. The Scots must win both to reach the playoffs, unlike O’Neill’s Northern Ireland, who have almost guaranteed that status despite their marginal resources.

Brendan Rodgers: Celtic are not given enough credit

Brendan Rodgers believes that Celtic were not given proper credit for following an Old Firm victory at Ibrox with a valuable win against Anderlecht in Brussels because observers stress the weakness of the opposition. The Parkhead manager was clearly irked by what he felt was a devaluation of his players’ accomplishment – and, by extension, his own achievement – when he said: “I’ve had that quite a bit up here. “When we play Rangers, it’s about how Rangers aren’t what they used to be. Anderlecht aren’t what they used to be, the Scottish league isn’t what it used to be. It’s constant, it’s nothing new. “We just deal with it. We can only focus on ourselves and just continually look to develop our game and improve. It’s the modern world unfortunately. We don’t look for the credit. We just want to do a good job for the supporters, who travel and pay a lot of money to get out there and for ourselves too, because we’re ambitious and we want to do well. The other stuff, we can’t really control. “It’s also worth remembering as well that Anderlecht are a team who have virtually double our budget, so to go and deliver that level of performance and with that confidence is great. “We can’t control it. The only news headline we can write is to win the game. I saw a lot of the stories and lots of the columns on the game and, even in Scotland, a lot of them were very much about how poor Anderlecht were.” Celtic won 3-0 at Anderlecht in midweek Credit: Reuters One aspect of Celtic’s play which, however, has drawn universal comment was their tentativeness on the ball in the first half hour or so, despite their command of possession during that time. Only after the 38th minute, when Leigh Griffiths scored the opener after fine work by Kieran Tierney and Olivier Ntcham, did the Scottish champions threaten consistently. “Everyone talks about possession but it is no good on its own. You need to penetrate, defend well and create opportunities. When I watched a re-run of the game the other night it was great to see the calmness and the confidence we had to play a high level technical game. “I don’t know what it does for the rest of Scotland but I do know what it gives us here. It shows the way we have been developing. The incision at the end of the first goal was good. It was a wonderful pass from Olly but it doesn’t get there if Keiran isn’t running. It is important to get through teams without the ball and Keiran has the explosive speed to get there. “The second and third goals also pleased me and out fitness at the end to have five players in the box in injury time, with the hunger to score.” Rodgers welcomed Neil Lennon back to Celtic on Saturday afternoon Credit: PA Celtic Park welcomed the return of a former favourite, both as player and manager, in the form of Neil Lennon, who brought Hibernian to the east end of Glasgow in hope of ending the champions’ run of 57 successive domestic fixtures unbeaten. Celtic had taken maximum reward from a sequence of three consecutive games on the road in different competitions, in which they had scored nine goals for the loss of none. Rodgers made five changes to the team which started in Brussels, although one – Scott Brown – was forced by the captain’s hamstring injury. Jozo Simunovic was rested and Patrick Roberts, Scott Sinclair and Leigh Griffiths were on the bench. Callum McGregor, one of the replacements, put Celtic ahead on the quarter hour when he was allowed to proceed unchecked on a run through the channel into the Hibs box, where he collected a pass from Moussa Dembele to tuck a left-foot finish beyond Ross Laidlaw. Callum McGregor scored twice for Celtic Credit: Getty images With around the same superior share of possession as they enjoyed against Anderlecht, Celtic found chances hard to come by and, indeed, survived two alarms, the first early when Craig Gordon tipped a free kick from Anthony Stokes over the crossbar, then when Martin Boyle beat the offside trap but shot high over the top. Hibs did find the mark eight minutes after the break, though, when Marvin Bartley found John McGinn for an angled drive past Gordon. Within moments, an outstanding save from the goalkeeper, prevented Hibs taking the lead when he dived to block a point-blank shot from Steven Whittaker on the goal line, but he could not stop McGinn finding the net again, this time with an arcing effort from beyond the box. The drama, however, was not played out and the final act belonged to McGregor, who kept his composure when Hibs failed to clear a corner kick and, when the ball fell to him 12 yards out, struck home a controlled low volley to make it 2-2.

Brendan Rodgers: Celtic are not given enough credit

Brendan Rodgers believes that Celtic were not given proper credit for following an Old Firm victory at Ibrox with a valuable win against Anderlecht in Brussels because observers stress the weakness of the opposition. The Parkhead manager was clearly irked by what he felt was a devaluation of his players’ accomplishment – and, by extension, his own achievement – when he said: “I’ve had that quite a bit up here. “When we play Rangers, it’s about how Rangers aren’t what they used to be. Anderlecht aren’t what they used to be, the Scottish league isn’t what it used to be. It’s constant, it’s nothing new. “We just deal with it. We can only focus on ourselves and just continually look to develop our game and improve. It’s the modern world unfortunately. We don’t look for the credit. We just want to do a good job for the supporters, who travel and pay a lot of money to get out there and for ourselves too, because we’re ambitious and we want to do well. The other stuff, we can’t really control. “It’s also worth remembering as well that Anderlecht are a team who have virtually double our budget, so to go and deliver that level of performance and with that confidence is great. “We can’t control it. The only news headline we can write is to win the game. I saw a lot of the stories and lots of the columns on the game and, even in Scotland, a lot of them were very much about how poor Anderlecht were.” Celtic won 3-0 at Anderlecht in midweek Credit: Reuters One aspect of Celtic’s play which, however, has drawn universal comment was their tentativeness on the ball in the first half hour or so, despite their command of possession during that time. Only after the 38th minute, when Leigh Griffiths scored the opener after fine work by Kieran Tierney and Olivier Ntcham, did the Scottish champions threaten consistently. “Everyone talks about possession but it is no good on its own. You need to penetrate, defend well and create opportunities. When I watched a re-run of the game the other night it was great to see the calmness and the confidence we had to play a high level technical game. “I don’t know what it does for the rest of Scotland but I do know what it gives us here. It shows the way we have been developing. The incision at the end of the first goal was good. It was a wonderful pass from Olly but it doesn’t get there if Keiran isn’t running. It is important to get through teams without the ball and Keiran has the explosive speed to get there. “The second and third goals also pleased me and out fitness at the end to have five players in the box in injury time, with the hunger to score.” Rodgers welcomed Neil Lennon back to Celtic on Saturday afternoon Credit: PA Celtic Park welcomed the return of a former favourite, both as player and manager, in the form of Neil Lennon, who brought Hibernian to the east end of Glasgow in hope of ending the champions’ run of 57 successive domestic fixtures unbeaten. Celtic had taken maximum reward from a sequence of three consecutive games on the road in different competitions, in which they had scored nine goals for the loss of none. Rodgers made five changes to the team which started in Brussels, although one – Scott Brown – was forced by the captain’s hamstring injury. Jozo Simunovic was rested and Patrick Roberts, Scott Sinclair and Leigh Griffiths were on the bench. Callum McGregor, one of the replacements, put Celtic ahead on the quarter hour when he was allowed to proceed unchecked on a run through the channel into the Hibs box, where he collected a pass from Moussa Dembele to tuck a left-foot finish beyond Ross Laidlaw. Callum McGregor scored twice for Celtic Credit: Getty images With around the same superior share of possession as they enjoyed against Anderlecht, Celtic found chances hard to come by and, indeed, survived two alarms, the first early when Craig Gordon tipped a free kick from Anthony Stokes over the crossbar, then when Martin Boyle beat the offside trap but shot high over the top. Hibs did find the mark eight minutes after the break, though, when Marvin Bartley found John McGinn for an angled drive past Gordon. Within moments, an outstanding save from the goalkeeper, prevented Hibs taking the lead when he dived to block a point-blank shot from Steven Whittaker on the goal line, but he could not stop McGinn finding the net again, this time with an arcing effort from beyond the box. The drama, however, was not played out and the final act belonged to McGregor, who kept his composure when Hibs failed to clear a corner kick and, when the ball fell to him 12 yards out, struck home a controlled low volley to make it 2-2.

Brendan Rodgers: Celtic are not given enough credit

Brendan Rodgers believes that Celtic were not given proper credit for following an Old Firm victory at Ibrox with a valuable win against Anderlecht in Brussels because observers stress the weakness of the opposition. The Parkhead manager was clearly irked by what he felt was a devaluation of his players’ accomplishment – and, by extension, his own achievement – when he said: “I’ve had that quite a bit up here. “When we play Rangers, it’s about how Rangers aren’t what they used to be. Anderlecht aren’t what they used to be, the Scottish league isn’t what it used to be. It’s constant, it’s nothing new. “We just deal with it. We can only focus on ourselves and just continually look to develop our game and improve. It’s the modern world unfortunately. We don’t look for the credit. We just want to do a good job for the supporters, who travel and pay a lot of money to get out there and for ourselves too, because we’re ambitious and we want to do well. The other stuff, we can’t really control. “It’s also worth remembering as well that Anderlecht are a team who have virtually double our budget, so to go and deliver that level of performance and with that confidence is great. “We can’t control it. The only news headline we can write is to win the game. I saw a lot of the stories and lots of the columns on the game and, even in Scotland, a lot of them were very much about how poor Anderlecht were.” Celtic won 3-0 at Anderlecht in midweek Credit: Reuters One aspect of Celtic’s play which, however, has drawn universal comment was their tentativeness on the ball in the first half hour or so, despite their command of possession during that time. Only after the 38th minute, when Leigh Griffiths scored the opener after fine work by Kieran Tierney and Olivier Ntcham, did the Scottish champions threaten consistently. “Everyone talks about possession but it is no good on its own. You need to penetrate, defend well and create opportunities. When I watched a re-run of the game the other night it was great to see the calmness and the confidence we had to play a high level technical game. “I don’t know what it does for the rest of Scotland but I do know what it gives us here. It shows the way we have been developing. The incision at the end of the first goal was good. It was a wonderful pass from Olly but it doesn’t get there if Keiran isn’t running. It is important to get through teams without the ball and Keiran has the explosive speed to get there. “The second and third goals also pleased me and out fitness at the end to have five players in the box in injury time, with the hunger to score.” Rodgers welcomed Neil Lennon back to Celtic on Saturday afternoon Credit: PA Celtic Park welcomed the return of a former favourite, both as player and manager, in the form of Neil Lennon, who brought Hibernian to the east end of Glasgow in hope of ending the champions’ run of 57 successive domestic fixtures unbeaten. Celtic had taken maximum reward from a sequence of three consecutive games on the road in different competitions, in which they had scored nine goals for the loss of none. Rodgers made five changes to the team which started in Brussels, although one – Scott Brown – was forced by the captain’s hamstring injury. Jozo Simunovic was rested and Patrick Roberts, Scott Sinclair and Leigh Griffiths were on the bench. Callum McGregor, one of the replacements, put Celtic ahead on the quarter hour when he was allowed to proceed unchecked on a run through the channel into the Hibs box, where he collected a pass from Moussa Dembele to tuck a left-foot finish beyond Ross Laidlaw. Callum McGregor scored twice for Celtic Credit: Getty images With around the same superior share of possession as they enjoyed against Anderlecht, Celtic found chances hard to come by and, indeed, survived two alarms, the first early when Craig Gordon tipped a free kick from Anthony Stokes over the crossbar, then when Martin Boyle beat the offside trap but shot high over the top. Hibs did find the mark eight minutes after the break, though, when Marvin Bartley found John McGinn for an angled drive past Gordon. Within moments, an outstanding save from the goalkeeper, prevented Hibs taking the lead when he dived to block a point-blank shot from Steven Whittaker on the goal line, but he could not stop McGinn finding the net again, this time with an arcing effort from beyond the box. The drama, however, was not played out and the final act belonged to McGregor, who kept his composure when Hibs failed to clear a corner kick and, when the ball fell to him 12 yards out, struck home a controlled low volley to make it 2-2.

Brendan Rodgers: Celtic are not given enough credit

Brendan Rodgers believes that Celtic were not given proper credit for following an Old Firm victory at Ibrox with a valuable win against Anderlecht in Brussels because observers stress the weakness of the opposition. The Parkhead manager was clearly irked by what he felt was a devaluation of his players’ accomplishment – and, by extension, his own achievement – when he said: “I’ve had that quite a bit up here. “When we play Rangers, it’s about how Rangers aren’t what they used to be. Anderlecht aren’t what they used to be, the Scottish league isn’t what it used to be. It’s constant, it’s nothing new. “We just deal with it. We can only focus on ourselves and just continually look to develop our game and improve. It’s the modern world unfortunately. We don’t look for the credit. We just want to do a good job for the supporters, who travel and pay a lot of money to get out there and for ourselves too, because we’re ambitious and we want to do well. The other stuff, we can’t really control. “It’s also worth remembering as well that Anderlecht are a team who have virtually double our budget, so to go and deliver that level of performance and with that confidence is great. “We can’t control it. The only news headline we can write is to win the game. I saw a lot of the stories and lots of the columns on the game and, even in Scotland, a lot of them were very much about how poor Anderlecht were.” Celtic won 3-0 at Anderlecht in midweek Credit: Reuters One aspect of Celtic’s play which, however, has drawn universal comment was their tentativeness on the ball in the first half hour or so, despite their command of possession during that time. Only after the 38th minute, when Leigh Griffiths scored the opener after fine work by Kieran Tierney and Olivier Ntcham, did the Scottish champions threaten consistently. “Everyone talks about possession but it is no good on its own. You need to penetrate, defend well and create opportunities. When I watched a re-run of the game the other night it was great to see the calmness and the confidence we had to play a high level technical game. “I don’t know what it does for the rest of Scotland but I do know what it gives us here. It shows the way we have been developing. The incision at the end of the first goal was good. It was a wonderful pass from Olly but it doesn’t get there if Keiran isn’t running. It is important to get through teams without the ball and Keiran has the explosive speed to get there. “The second and third goals also pleased me and out fitness at the end to have five players in the box in injury time, with the hunger to score.” Rodgers welcomed Neil Lennon back to Celtic on Saturday afternoon Credit: PA Celtic Park welcomed the return of a former favourite, both as player and manager, in the form of Neil Lennon, who brought Hibernian to the east end of Glasgow in hope of ending the champions’ run of 57 successive domestic fixtures unbeaten. Celtic had taken maximum reward from a sequence of three consecutive games on the road in different competitions, in which they had scored nine goals for the loss of none. Rodgers made five changes to the team which started in Brussels, although one – Scott Brown – was forced by the captain’s hamstring injury. Jozo Simunovic was rested and Patrick Roberts, Scott Sinclair and Leigh Griffiths were on the bench. Callum McGregor, one of the replacements, put Celtic ahead on the quarter hour when he was allowed to proceed unchecked on a run through the channel into the Hibs box, where he collected a pass from Moussa Dembele to tuck a left-foot finish beyond Ross Laidlaw. Callum McGregor scored twice for Celtic Credit: Getty images With around the same superior share of possession as they enjoyed against Anderlecht, Celtic found chances hard to come by and, indeed, survived two alarms, the first early when Craig Gordon tipped a free kick from Anthony Stokes over the crossbar, then when Martin Boyle beat the offside trap but shot high over the top. Hibs did find the mark eight minutes after the break, though, when Marvin Bartley found John McGinn for an angled drive past Gordon. Within moments, an outstanding save from the goalkeeper, prevented Hibs taking the lead when he dived to block a point-blank shot from Steven Whittaker on the goal line, but he could not stop McGinn finding the net again, this time with an arcing effort from beyond the box. The drama, however, was not played out and the final act belonged to McGregor, who kept his composure when Hibs failed to clear a corner kick and, when the ball fell to him 12 yards out, struck home a controlled low volley to make it 2-2.

Brendan Rodgers welcomes Neil Lennon back to Celtic Park and sings his praises

Were the rate of managerial attrition in Celtic’s Champions League group to continue, Brendan Rodgers would soon be out of a job. Happily for Celtic fans, the Northern Irishman is under no threat, by contrast to Rene Weiler and Carlo Ancelotti, who began the season in charge of Anderlecht and Bayern Munich respectively but who have been numbered amongst the early casualties of disappointing form. In Weiler’s case, a poor start to the Belgian league season saw him gone before Anderlecht lost to Celtic in their Champions League group encounter on Wednesday while Bayern parted company with Ancelotti on Thursday after the Bundesliga club lost by the same score to Paris Saint-Germain in the other game in the section. “Carlo will probably go to Barcelona or somewhere, but my feelings this week were for Jim McIntyre and Peter Houston,” said Rodgers, of the men sacked by Ross County and Falkirk. “I didn't really see or understand the role Jim played at Ross County until I came to Celtic. “I then analysed what he'd done - winning the League Cup and keeping them up. Roy MacGregor [the Staggies’ chairman] is a lovely guy and has done brilliant work for Ross County and the area, but I have real empathy for Jim losing his job. “Look at the work he's done and the fixtures he's had. They’ve played ourselves, Aberdeen, Rangers and Hibs. I watched the full game last week and it wasn't a performance where you say the players aren't really playing for him. “I have real empathy for Jim and Peter Houston, who has been about for a long time. He's a very good coach, who did a great job for Dundee United and then Falkirk.” It has been a great honour to form part of Bayern’s history. I would like to thank the Club, the Players and it's amazing fans. #MiaSanMiapic.twitter.com/oZ7mLllers— Carlo Ancelotti (@MrAncelotti) September 28, 2017 On Saturday, Rodgers comes up against one of his predecessors at Celtic, when Hibernian arrive in the east end of Glasgow, where their manager, Neil Lennon, was a favourite, both as a player and during his spell in charge between 2010 and 2014. “If I wasn’t here, if I was to say who’ll be Celtic manager I would say Neil Lennon,” said Rodgers of the man who won three titles for the Parkhead side. “He was very good in his time here and if it ever comes to him again he would do equally as well if not better.” When Lennon left, partly because of the absence of competition following Rangers’ financial meltdown and spell in the lower leagues, Rodgers imagined that he and his fellow countryman might engage in a Merseyside rivalry. “I was at Liverpool and there was talk then of David Moyes going to Manchester United and I thought that Everton would have been a perfect job for Neil. Neil Lennon returns to Celtic Park on Saturday to play the club he graced in midfield and the dugout Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire “There is no doubt he deserved a better offer. That's no disrespect to Bolton - if they'd been in the Premier League, it would have been a great job. I felt Neil was a Premier League manager in waiting.  “Maybe that's because I know the size of Celtic and what the demands and challenges are at a club like this. I could see how he'd managed that and looked at what could be his next step.      “Part of my admiration for him comes from his openness and the courage he showed to come out and speak openly about his depression. I read his book and it was a real admission of his life and where he was at and it takes a lot of courage to do that.   “He was a real pioneer. That was nearly a decade ago. Then there was everything else that surrounded his time here too which wasn’t nice and you don’t want anyone to go through. This is a job that is big enough itself without any additional pressures.” Celtic are bidding for a 58th successive domestic game unbeaten but they must achieve it without Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong, both of whom have hamstring injuries which will also keep them out of Scotland’s World Cup double header against Slovakia and Slovenia. “It’s just absolutely so unlucky for us and their unavailability for tomorrow but also for Scotland, which is a huge loss,” Rodgers said.  

Brendan Rodgers welcomes Neil Lennon back to Celtic Park and sings his praises

Were the rate of managerial attrition in Celtic’s Champions League group to continue, Brendan Rodgers would soon be out of a job. Happily for Celtic fans, the Northern Irishman is under no threat, by contrast to Rene Weiler and Carlo Ancelotti, who began the season in charge of Anderlecht and Bayern Munich respectively but who have been numbered amongst the early casualties of disappointing form. In Weiler’s case, a poor start to the Belgian league season saw him gone before Anderlecht lost to Celtic in their Champions League group encounter on Wednesday while Bayern parted company with Ancelotti on Thursday after the Bundesliga club lost by the same score to Paris Saint-Germain in the other game in the section. “Carlo will probably go to Barcelona or somewhere, but my feelings this week were for Jim McIntyre and Peter Houston,” said Rodgers, of the men sacked by Ross County and Falkirk. “I didn't really see or understand the role Jim played at Ross County until I came to Celtic. “I then analysed what he'd done - winning the League Cup and keeping them up. Roy MacGregor [the Staggies’ chairman] is a lovely guy and has done brilliant work for Ross County and the area, but I have real empathy for Jim losing his job. “Look at the work he's done and the fixtures he's had. They’ve played ourselves, Aberdeen, Rangers and Hibs. I watched the full game last week and it wasn't a performance where you say the players aren't really playing for him. “I have real empathy for Jim and Peter Houston, who has been about for a long time. He's a very good coach, who did a great job for Dundee United and then Falkirk.” It has been a great honour to form part of Bayern’s history. I would like to thank the Club, the Players and it's amazing fans. #MiaSanMiapic.twitter.com/oZ7mLllers— Carlo Ancelotti (@MrAncelotti) September 28, 2017 On Saturday, Rodgers comes up against one of his predecessors at Celtic, when Hibernian arrive in the east end of Glasgow, where their manager, Neil Lennon, was a favourite, both as a player and during his spell in charge between 2010 and 2014. “If I wasn’t here, if I was to say who’ll be Celtic manager I would say Neil Lennon,” said Rodgers of the man who won three titles for the Parkhead side. “He was very good in his time here and if it ever comes to him again he would do equally as well if not better.” When Lennon left, partly because of the absence of competition following Rangers’ financial meltdown and spell in the lower leagues, Rodgers imagined that he and his fellow countryman might engage in a Merseyside rivalry. “I was at Liverpool and there was talk then of David Moyes going to Manchester United and I thought that Everton would have been a perfect job for Neil. Neil Lennon returns to Celtic Park on Saturday to play the club he graced in midfield and the dugout Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire “There is no doubt he deserved a better offer. That's no disrespect to Bolton - if they'd been in the Premier League, it would have been a great job. I felt Neil was a Premier League manager in waiting.  “Maybe that's because I know the size of Celtic and what the demands and challenges are at a club like this. I could see how he'd managed that and looked at what could be his next step.      “Part of my admiration for him comes from his openness and the courage he showed to come out and speak openly about his depression. I read his book and it was a real admission of his life and where he was at and it takes a lot of courage to do that.   “He was a real pioneer. That was nearly a decade ago. Then there was everything else that surrounded his time here too which wasn’t nice and you don’t want anyone to go through. This is a job that is big enough itself without any additional pressures.” Celtic are bidding for a 58th successive domestic game unbeaten but they must achieve it without Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong, both of whom have hamstring injuries which will also keep them out of Scotland’s World Cup double header against Slovakia and Slovenia. “It’s just absolutely so unlucky for us and their unavailability for tomorrow but also for Scotland, which is a huge loss,” Rodgers said.  

Ambrose wants improved defensive play from Hibernian

Having conceded the first goal in their last five games, the Nigeria international is unhappy and has urged his teammates to do more defensively

Celtic demand independent review of Rangers tax avoidance scheme to 'learn lessons and move on' 

Stewart Regan, the Scottish Football Association chief executive, finds himself squarely in the line of fire as Celtic upped the stakes in the ongoing fallout from Rangers’ use of a tax avoidance scheme – declared unlawful by the Supreme Court earlier this year – between 2001 and 2010. Celtic have accused the SFA of  “a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership” after the governing body declined to conduct a review of Rangers’ use of EBTs (Employee Benefit Trusts). By mutual agreement, the correspondence between Regan and Peter Lawwell, his Celtic counterpart, has been released. Celtic, though, have also released a statement on the club website which said: “In the light of all information that has now become available, Celtic has been in correspondence with the Scottish Football Association in pursuit of the club’s belief that an independent review should be commissioned to consider the events that led to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and the governance issues arising from those events. “This is exactly the same position as adopted by the SPFL board on behalf of all Scotland's 42 professional clubs.  The club believes that such a review is essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair. On that basis, Scottish football could learn lessons and move on. Celtic have demanded a review of Rangers' EBT saga Credit: GETTY IMAGES “The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.  “Celtic was, therefore, disappointed to note that the Scottish Football Association board has confirmed that it does not intend to commission such a review. Throughout these processes, Celtic's consistent objective has been to establish the full facts, which is surely the least that all stakeholders in Scottish football - including the supporters of all clubs - are entitled to, and to learn the appropriate lessons. That remains our position.” The Scottish Professional Football League had previously stated that it could not hold a review because it did not exist during Rangers’ use of the EBT scheme and had no jurisdiction over the rules of the Scottish Premier League, which was responsible for league governance at the time. The SPFL did, however, suggest that the SFA could institute a review. There have also been calls to strip Rangers of titles Credit: PA On Thursday, however, the SFA declined to pursue that course of action, citing QC’s advice, although they are investigating the granting of a licence to Rangers permitting them to take part in European football in 2011, after Craig Whyte had bought the Ibrox club for £1 from Sir David Murray, in the light of evidence presented in Whyte’s recent trial for fraud, a charge of which he was ultimately acquitted, Moves to have Rangers stripped of the honours they won during their use of EBTs have been proposed for several years, with Celtic supporters prominent amongst those demanding that their arch-foes be shorn of five league titles, four Scottish Cup wins and six Scottish League Cup successes. The Rangers fan shareholder group, Club 1872, previously said that it would mount a legal challenge to the SPFL if the league should support such a course. On the field of play, Rangers were productive for the first time in a home league match this season. Having lost to Hibernian and been held to a draw by Hearts, Pedro Caixinha’s players at last gratified their supporters with a comfortable victory over Dundee after Alfredo Morelos netted his sixth goal for the club with a low shot beyond Scott Bain just before the break. Josh Windass scored Rangers’ second when he headed home a Daniel Candeias cross then set up another for Carlos Pena before Morelos got his second, although there was still time for Faisal El-Bakhtoui to net a consolation for Dundee. Carlos Pena celebrates Rangers' third goal against Dundee Credit: PA In Dingwall, Partick Thistle’s luck seemed to have changed when Blair Spital shot them into a first half lead very much against the run of play against Ross County, but the Jags were held to a draw after Alex Schalk’s late penalty kick equaliser. In the collision of Northern Irish managers at McDiarmid Park, Tommy Wright drew first blood when Rangers’ reject, Michael O’Halloran turned a Liam Craig cross over the line just after the break to put St Johnstone ahead against Neil Lennon’s Hibs. Saints’ Paul Paton was next to score, but into his own net when trying to block Anthony Stokes. Ryan Bowman opened the scoring in Motherwell in the 2-0 home victory over Kilmarnock, then was taken down for a penalty kick converted by Louis Moult. The only goalless game in the Scottish Premiership was at Murrayfield, where Aberdeen keeper, Joe Lewis, defied Aberdeen with a string of outstanding saves, including two showstoppers to deny Isma Goncalves and Ross Callachan.

Celtic demand independent review of Rangers tax avoidance scheme to 'learn lessons and move on' 

Stewart Regan, the Scottish Football Association chief executive, finds himself squarely in the line of fire as Celtic upped the stakes in the ongoing fallout from Rangers’ use of a tax avoidance scheme – declared unlawful by the Supreme Court earlier this year – between 2001 and 2010. Celtic have accused the SFA of  “a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership” after the governing body declined to conduct a review of Rangers’ use of EBTs (Employee Benefit Trusts). By mutual agreement, the correspondence between Regan and Peter Lawwell, his Celtic counterpart, has been released. Celtic, though, have also released a statement on the club website which said: “In the light of all information that has now become available, Celtic has been in correspondence with the Scottish Football Association in pursuit of the club’s belief that an independent review should be commissioned to consider the events that led to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and the governance issues arising from those events. “This is exactly the same position as adopted by the SPFL board on behalf of all Scotland's 42 professional clubs.  The club believes that such a review is essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair. On that basis, Scottish football could learn lessons and move on. Celtic have demanded a review of Rangers' EBT saga Credit: GETTY IMAGES “The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.  “Celtic was, therefore, disappointed to note that the Scottish Football Association board has confirmed that it does not intend to commission such a review. Throughout these processes, Celtic's consistent objective has been to establish the full facts, which is surely the least that all stakeholders in Scottish football - including the supporters of all clubs - are entitled to, and to learn the appropriate lessons. That remains our position.” The Scottish Professional Football League had previously stated that it could not hold a review because it did not exist during Rangers’ use of the EBT scheme and had no jurisdiction over the rules of the Scottish Premier League, which was responsible for league governance at the time. The SPFL did, however, suggest that the SFA could institute a review. There have also been calls to strip Rangers of titles Credit: PA On Thursday, however, the SFA declined to pursue that course of action, citing QC’s advice, although they are investigating the granting of a licence to Rangers permitting them to take part in European football in 2011, after Craig Whyte had bought the Ibrox club for £1 from Sir David Murray, in the light of evidence presented in Whyte’s recent trial for fraud, a charge of which he was ultimately acquitted, Moves to have Rangers stripped of the honours they won during their use of EBTs have been proposed for several years, with Celtic supporters prominent amongst those demanding that their arch-foes be shorn of five league titles, four Scottish Cup wins and six Scottish League Cup successes. The Rangers fan shareholder group, Club 1872, previously said that it would mount a legal challenge to the SPFL if the league should support such a course. On the field of play, Rangers were productive for the first time in a home league match this season. Having lost to Hibernian and been held to a draw by Hearts, Pedro Caixinha’s players at last gratified their supporters with a comfortable victory over Dundee after Alfredo Morelos netted his sixth goal for the club with a low shot beyond Scott Bain just before the break. Josh Windass scored Rangers’ second when he headed home a Daniel Candeias cross then set up another for Carlos Pena before Morelos got his second, although there was still time for Faisal El-Bakhtoui to net a consolation for Dundee. Carlos Pena celebrates Rangers' third goal against Dundee Credit: PA In Dingwall, Partick Thistle’s luck seemed to have changed when Blair Spital shot them into a first half lead very much against the run of play against Ross County, but the Jags were held to a draw after Alex Schalk’s late penalty kick equaliser. In the collision of Northern Irish managers at McDiarmid Park, Tommy Wright drew first blood when Rangers’ reject, Michael O’Halloran turned a Liam Craig cross over the line just after the break to put St Johnstone ahead against Neil Lennon’s Hibs. Saints’ Paul Paton was next to score, but into his own net when trying to block Anthony Stokes. Ryan Bowman opened the scoring in Motherwell in the 2-0 home victory over Kilmarnock, then was taken down for a penalty kick converted by Louis Moult. The only goalless game in the Scottish Premiership was at Murrayfield, where Aberdeen keeper, Joe Lewis, defied Aberdeen with a string of outstanding saves, including two showstoppers to deny Isma Goncalves and Ross Callachan.

Celtic demand independent review of Rangers tax avoidance scheme to 'learn lessons and move on' 

Stewart Regan, the Scottish Football Association chief executive, finds himself squarely in the line of fire as Celtic upped the stakes in the ongoing fallout from Rangers’ use of a tax avoidance scheme – declared unlawful by the Supreme Court earlier this year – between 2001 and 2010. Celtic have accused the SFA of  “a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership” after the governing body declined to conduct a review of Rangers’ use of EBTs (Employee Benefit Trusts). By mutual agreement, the correspondence between Regan and Peter Lawwell, his Celtic counterpart, has been released. Celtic, though, have also released a statement on the club website which said: “In the light of all information that has now become available, Celtic has been in correspondence with the Scottish Football Association in pursuit of the club’s belief that an independent review should be commissioned to consider the events that led to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and the governance issues arising from those events. “This is exactly the same position as adopted by the SPFL board on behalf of all Scotland's 42 professional clubs.  The club believes that such a review is essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair. On that basis, Scottish football could learn lessons and move on. Celtic have demanded a review of Rangers' EBT saga Credit: GETTY IMAGES “The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.  “Celtic was, therefore, disappointed to note that the Scottish Football Association board has confirmed that it does not intend to commission such a review. Throughout these processes, Celtic's consistent objective has been to establish the full facts, which is surely the least that all stakeholders in Scottish football - including the supporters of all clubs - are entitled to, and to learn the appropriate lessons. That remains our position.” The Scottish Professional Football League had previously stated that it could not hold a review because it did not exist during Rangers’ use of the EBT scheme and had no jurisdiction over the rules of the Scottish Premier League, which was responsible for league governance at the time. The SPFL did, however, suggest that the SFA could institute a review. There have also been calls to strip Rangers of titles Credit: PA On Thursday, however, the SFA declined to pursue that course of action, citing QC’s advice, although they are investigating the granting of a licence to Rangers permitting them to take part in European football in 2011, after Craig Whyte had bought the Ibrox club for £1 from Sir David Murray, in the light of evidence presented in Whyte’s recent trial for fraud, a charge of which he was ultimately acquitted, Moves to have Rangers stripped of the honours they won during their use of EBTs have been proposed for several years, with Celtic supporters prominent amongst those demanding that their arch-foes be shorn of five league titles, four Scottish Cup wins and six Scottish League Cup successes. The Rangers fan shareholder group, Club 1872, previously said that it would mount a legal challenge to the SPFL if the league should support such a course. On the field of play, Rangers were productive for the first time in a home league match this season. Having lost to Hibernian and been held to a draw by Hearts, Pedro Caixinha’s players at last gratified their supporters with a comfortable victory over Dundee after Alfredo Morelos netted his sixth goal for the club with a low shot beyond Scott Bain just before the break. Josh Windass scored Rangers’ second when he headed home a Daniel Candeias cross then set up another for Carlos Pena before Morelos got his second, although there was still time for Faisal El-Bakhtoui to net a consolation for Dundee. Carlos Pena celebrates Rangers' third goal against Dundee Credit: PA In Dingwall, Partick Thistle’s luck seemed to have changed when Blair Spital shot them into a first half lead very much against the run of play against Ross County, but the Jags were held to a draw after Alex Schalk’s late penalty kick equaliser. In the collision of Northern Irish managers at McDiarmid Park, Tommy Wright drew first blood when Rangers’ reject, Michael O’Halloran turned a Liam Craig cross over the line just after the break to put St Johnstone ahead against Neil Lennon’s Hibs. Saints’ Paul Paton was next to score, but into his own net when trying to block Anthony Stokes. Ryan Bowman opened the scoring in Motherwell in the 2-0 home victory over Kilmarnock, then was taken down for a penalty kick converted by Louis Moult. The only goalless game in the Scottish Premiership was at Murrayfield, where Aberdeen keeper, Joe Lewis, defied Aberdeen with a string of outstanding saves, including two showstoppers to deny Isma Goncalves and Ross Callachan.

Celtic demand independent review of Rangers tax avoidance scheme to 'learn lessons and move on' 

Stewart Regan, the Scottish Football Association chief executive, finds himself squarely in the line of fire as Celtic upped the stakes in the ongoing fallout from Rangers’ use of a tax avoidance scheme – declared unlawful by the Supreme Court earlier this year – between 2001 and 2010. Celtic have accused the SFA of  “a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership” after the governing body declined to conduct a review of Rangers’ use of EBTs (Employee Benefit Trusts). By mutual agreement, the correspondence between Regan and Peter Lawwell, his Celtic counterpart, has been released. Celtic, though, have also released a statement on the club website which said: “In the light of all information that has now become available, Celtic has been in correspondence with the Scottish Football Association in pursuit of the club’s belief that an independent review should be commissioned to consider the events that led to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and the governance issues arising from those events. “This is exactly the same position as adopted by the SPFL board on behalf of all Scotland's 42 professional clubs.  The club believes that such a review is essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair. On that basis, Scottish football could learn lessons and move on. Celtic have demanded a review of Rangers' EBT saga Credit: GETTY IMAGES “The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.  “Celtic was, therefore, disappointed to note that the Scottish Football Association board has confirmed that it does not intend to commission such a review. Throughout these processes, Celtic's consistent objective has been to establish the full facts, which is surely the least that all stakeholders in Scottish football - including the supporters of all clubs - are entitled to, and to learn the appropriate lessons. That remains our position.” The Scottish Professional Football League had previously stated that it could not hold a review because it did not exist during Rangers’ use of the EBT scheme and had no jurisdiction over the rules of the Scottish Premier League, which was responsible for league governance at the time. The SPFL did, however, suggest that the SFA could institute a review. There have also been calls to strip Rangers of titles Credit: PA On Thursday, however, the SFA declined to pursue that course of action, citing QC’s advice, although they are investigating the granting of a licence to Rangers permitting them to take part in European football in 2011, after Craig Whyte had bought the Ibrox club for £1 from Sir David Murray, in the light of evidence presented in Whyte’s recent trial for fraud, a charge of which he was ultimately acquitted, Moves to have Rangers stripped of the honours they won during their use of EBTs have been proposed for several years, with Celtic supporters prominent amongst those demanding that their arch-foes be shorn of five league titles, four Scottish Cup wins and six Scottish League Cup successes. The Rangers fan shareholder group, Club 1872, previously said that it would mount a legal challenge to the SPFL if the league should support such a course. On the field of play, Rangers were productive for the first time in a home league match this season. Having lost to Hibernian and been held to a draw by Hearts, Pedro Caixinha’s players at last gratified their supporters with a comfortable victory over Dundee after Alfredo Morelos netted his sixth goal for the club with a low shot beyond Scott Bain just before the break. Josh Windass scored Rangers’ second when he headed home a Daniel Candeias cross then set up another for Carlos Pena before Morelos got his second, although there was still time for Faisal El-Bakhtoui to net a consolation for Dundee. Carlos Pena celebrates Rangers' third goal against Dundee Credit: PA In Dingwall, Partick Thistle’s luck seemed to have changed when Blair Spital shot them into a first half lead very much against the run of play against Ross County, but the Jags were held to a draw after Alex Schalk’s late penalty kick equaliser. In the collision of Northern Irish managers at McDiarmid Park, Tommy Wright drew first blood when Rangers’ reject, Michael O’Halloran turned a Liam Craig cross over the line just after the break to put St Johnstone ahead against Neil Lennon’s Hibs. Saints’ Paul Paton was next to score, but into his own net when trying to block Anthony Stokes. Ryan Bowman opened the scoring in Motherwell in the 2-0 home victory over Kilmarnock, then was taken down for a penalty kick converted by Louis Moult. The only goalless game in the Scottish Premiership was at Murrayfield, where Aberdeen keeper, Joe Lewis, defied Aberdeen with a string of outstanding saves, including two showstoppers to deny Isma Goncalves and Ross Callachan.

Even Sir Alex couldn't close the gap between Rangers and Celtic, says Archie Knox

The gulf between Celtic and Rangers is now so great that even Sir Alex Ferguson would toil to erode the Parkhead club’s advantage according to Archie Knox. Such prognostications are common enough in Glasgow these days, but due weight is added when expressed by the man who was Ferguson’s assistant during golden eras at Aberdeen and Manchester United and who also acted as No 2 to Walter Smith at a similarly productive time at Ibrox. Knox, who turned 70 recently, marked the occasion with a book – The School of Hard Knox – and his standing in the game was illustrated at yesterday’s launch by the presence of Smith and other Ibrox favourites like John Brown, Ian Durrant and Ally McCoist, plus former Scotland manager, Craig Brown, for whom Knox was assistant in a second spell at Pittodrie between 2010 and 2013. Since then, as a spectator rather than employee, he has kept abreast of the progress of his former clubs. When it was suggested that even Ferguson might struggle to exercise his transformative powers at Ibrox, Knox said: “Well he would." Ma pal: Walter Smith (R) holds aloft the 1996 Tennents Scottish Cup with assistant manager Archie Knox Credit: Reuters “Unless you recruit well or be lucky enough to have good players then you are not going to do it. For Rangers to get back to what they once were then they need to have the same level of player as Celtic. “Celtic have better players – it is not rocket science. There is no magic formula for it – you simply have to have better players who have better attitudes than the rest of the teams and then you have a good chance of winning.” Nor does Knox believe that Celtic’s regal dominance will be usurped for some time to come. “It is major – I don’t see anybody doing that in the near future,” he said. “There is no question that Celtic can deliver at the moment. There is no question about that. Cut above: Brendan Rodgers and his Celtic team are streets ahead, says Knox Credit: PA “Brendan Rodgers is bringing Patrick Roberts back. Kieran Tierney is a phenomenal player, Stuart Armstrong is improving all the time, and with Leigh Griffiths scoring goals as he does and having six players in the Scotland team, it is great for Celtic. “I don’t know enough about the players at Rangers. Whether they can lift Rangers, I am not sure. What I will say is that they have to win their next two league games before they play Celtic. “That will always be the case at Rangers. No matter how you are going, a draw is no use. You have  to win.” Rangers have yet to triumph in a league game at home this season and lost their opening fixture at Ibrox to Hibernian, in vivid contrast to what was expected of the team when Knox worked there under Smith. “I tell a story about coming out of Ibrox after we beat Hibs 7-0,” he said. “I always came out with Ally McCoist because whenever he left everybody surrounded him, so I could make a quick getaway. That day I heard the voice: ‘Hey Knox! Hey Knox!’ “There’s a guy running along the road beside me and he’s pointing the finger at the park and he screams: ‘That was f---ing ridiculous. You allowed the players to take their foot off the pedal. It should have been ten!’ “You can’t win. We played Kilmarnock in the first game of the season after we won nine titles in a row and a boy appears at the dugout after 17 minutes, shouting, ‘Hey Knox, this is f---ing s---e!” “I told him there was a long hard season ahead.” "Even Sir Alex..." Sir Alex Ferguson with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers Credit: PA At least such abuse was the by-product of high expectation matched by accomplishment, although Knox maintains a degree of wonder at his own progress in the game. “It’s been phenomenal. I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” he said. “My first job was at Forfar where Sam Smith was the chairman and, if he hadn’t been there, I would never have survived in football. Never for the length of time I did. “His influence was phenomenal. Then I was lucky enough to get a job like Aberdeen with Fergie. It’s a case of being in the right place at the right time. “There are hundreds of people like me that just never got that opportunity and I’ll be eternally grateful that I did get it. It could have gone the other way, you just don’t know. “I was a joiner to trade, I worked as a building estimator and a surveyor, so I would probably have been kicking on with that, but my love of football was such that I was never going to leave myself short in terms of my attitude to the job.” The School of Hard Knox, published by Arena Sport, is out now and available from all good bookshops and online at arenasportbooks.co.uk

Even Sir Alex couldn't close the gap between Rangers and Celtic, says Archie Knox

The gulf between Celtic and Rangers is now so great that even Sir Alex Ferguson would toil to erode the Parkhead club’s advantage according to Archie Knox. Such prognostications are common enough in Glasgow these days, but due weight is added when expressed by the man who was Ferguson’s assistant during golden eras at Aberdeen and Manchester United and who also acted as No 2 to Walter Smith at a similarly productive time at Ibrox. Knox, who turned 70 recently, marked the occasion with a book – The School of Hard Knox – and his standing in the game was illustrated at yesterday’s launch by the presence of Smith and other Ibrox favourites like John Brown, Ian Durrant and Ally McCoist, plus former Scotland manager, Craig Brown, for whom Knox was assistant in a second spell at Pittodrie between 2010 and 2013. Since then, as a spectator rather than employee, he has kept abreast of the progress of his former clubs. When it was suggested that even Ferguson might struggle to exercise his transformative powers at Ibrox, Knox said: “Well he would." Ma pal: Walter Smith (R) holds aloft the 1996 Tennents Scottish Cup with assistant manager Archie Knox Credit: Reuters “Unless you recruit well or be lucky enough to have good players then you are not going to do it. For Rangers to get back to what they once were then they need to have the same level of player as Celtic. “Celtic have better players – it is not rocket science. There is no magic formula for it – you simply have to have better players who have better attitudes than the rest of the teams and then you have a good chance of winning.” Nor does Knox believe that Celtic’s regal dominance will be usurped for some time to come. “It is major – I don’t see anybody doing that in the near future,” he said. “There is no question that Celtic can deliver at the moment. There is no question about that. Cut above: Brendan Rodgers and his Celtic team are streets ahead, says Knox Credit: PA “Brendan Rodgers is bringing Patrick Roberts back. Kieran Tierney is a phenomenal player, Stuart Armstrong is improving all the time, and with Leigh Griffiths scoring goals as he does and having six players in the Scotland team, it is great for Celtic. “I don’t know enough about the players at Rangers. Whether they can lift Rangers, I am not sure. What I will say is that they have to win their next two league games before they play Celtic. “That will always be the case at Rangers. No matter how you are going, a draw is no use. You have  to win.” Rangers have yet to triumph in a league game at home this season and lost their opening fixture at Ibrox to Hibernian, in vivid contrast to what was expected of the team when Knox worked there under Smith. “I tell a story about coming out of Ibrox after we beat Hibs 7-0,” he said. “I always came out with Ally McCoist because whenever he left everybody surrounded him, so I could make a quick getaway. That day I heard the voice: ‘Hey Knox! Hey Knox!’ “There’s a guy running along the road beside me and he’s pointing the finger at the park and he screams: ‘That was f---ing ridiculous. You allowed the players to take their foot off the pedal. It should have been ten!’ “You can’t win. We played Kilmarnock in the first game of the season after we won nine titles in a row and a boy appears at the dugout after 17 minutes, shouting, ‘Hey Knox, this is f---ing s---e!” “I told him there was a long hard season ahead.” "Even Sir Alex..." Sir Alex Ferguson with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers Credit: PA At least such abuse was the by-product of high expectation matched by accomplishment, although Knox maintains a degree of wonder at his own progress in the game. “It’s been phenomenal. I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” he said. “My first job was at Forfar where Sam Smith was the chairman and, if he hadn’t been there, I would never have survived in football. Never for the length of time I did. “His influence was phenomenal. Then I was lucky enough to get a job like Aberdeen with Fergie. It’s a case of being in the right place at the right time. “There are hundreds of people like me that just never got that opportunity and I’ll be eternally grateful that I did get it. It could have gone the other way, you just don’t know. “I was a joiner to trade, I worked as a building estimator and a surveyor, so I would probably have been kicking on with that, but my love of football was such that I was never going to leave myself short in terms of my attitude to the job.” The School of Hard Knox, published by Arena Sport, is out now and available from all good bookshops and online at arenasportbooks.co.uk

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