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Jamie Vardy prepared to challenge Harry Kane for England place

Jamie Vardy in good spirits during an England training session ahead of their World Cup Qualifiers
Image: Jamie Vardy insists he is not just a back-up for Harry Kane while on international duty with England

Jamie Vardy insists he is not just back-up for England international team-mate Harry Kane.

The Three Lions continue their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign with games against Slovenia and Lithuania next month, and Vardy is among a number of forwards battling Kane for a place in Gareth Southgate's starting line-up.

The Tottenham striker is widely expected to start up front in both games after scoring nine goals for his club in September, including a hat-trick against APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League football match against Apoel FC in September 2017
Image: Kane is expected to start up front for England in two World Cup qualifiers next month

However, Vardy is determined to challenge Kane for an international starting place ahead of next summer's tournament in Russia.

"It's nothing like that. It depends on how we line-up. 'H' has been in fine form for his club and country as well," said Vardy, when asked if he expected to play back-up for Kane while on international duty.

"It's just one of those things, you have to keep working hard, show you are playing well and put yourself in the picture.

Jermaine Defoe and Jamie Vardy during a England training session ahead of their World Cup Qualifiers
Image: Jermain Defoe and Jamie Vardy are among a number of strikers hoping to challenge Kane for a starting place

"There's still things I need to improve on - there's some very good strikers wanting to get in that England squad. I'm planning to make sure I'm playing well for my club first and foremost."

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England face Slovenia at Wembley on October 5 before they travel to Lithuania for their final qualifier on October 8 and Vardy is confident qualification can be sealed before the game in Vilnius.

"We need two more points so hopefully we can get them in the first game against Slovenia and then top that off with a win in Lithuania," he said.

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