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World Cup - England reporter notebook: Expect changes for final group game against Wales but Harry Kane to keep his place

Sky Sports News' reporter Rob Dorsett provides his thoughts from Doha with England knowing, should they avoid a four-goal defeat or greater to Wales, they will reach the last 16; qualification not yet guaranteed but Southgate must get his squad knockout-match ready

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Image: Harry Kane is in line to start against Wales

Gareth Southgate is expected to freshen up his starting XI for the final Group B game against Wales on Tuesday night, though captain Harry Kane has insisted he is fit and has told the England boss he wants to keep his place up front.

As if to reinforce that, there was a statement of intent from the England captain in the final work out before the game at England's base in Al Wakrah. Kane always leads the players out to the training pitch - this time, he was a full three-to-four minutes before everyone else emerged. Southgate was watching.

Alan Shearer has led calls for Kane to be rested, bearing in mind only a disastrous four-goal defeat against Wales could prevent England progressing to the knockout stages. The theory goes: let him recover and keep him fresh for the bigger games to come.

But Southgate said before the USA game it's tough for any manager to leave such an important player out, especially a player who wants to play every minute of every game.

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Former England striker Daniel Sturridge expects Wales vs England to be a 'spicy affair' and backs England to edge it given the depth of the squad

The England boss faced similar calls to rest Kane after the first two games - in which he did not score - in the European Championships, but Kane still started the third match against Czech Republic.

In the World Cup in Russia four years ago, with qualification to the knockout stages assured, Southgate did rest his captain for the final group game against Belgium.

The difference this time is that qualification isn't guaranteed.

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Former England international Karen Carney shares her thoughts on England vs Wales and whether Harry Kane should be rested ahead of their crunch World Cup game in Group B

As a result, don't expect England to make wholesale changes.

Only once at the Euros did Southgate make more than two changes to his previous side. It was an ethos that took England all the way to the final.

"We want to play well," explains Southgate. "We want to win the group, we want to win football matches. There has to be a balance of freshness.

"Without a doubt the two games have taken a lot out of the players. But also stability. If you make lots of changes you can lose a bit of rhythm as well.

"We haven't qualified yet. We are not in a scenario that we had when we played Belgium in Russia and we were qualified. It was a case of first or second.

"We didn't really know what would be beneficial when we picked the team and then we had two days of 'why are we changing the team' even though we had qualified."

The England boss will want a strong side for this game. There is still a lot riding on it, for both nations. A fire-breathing Wales will be desperate for any win to keep their slim hopes of qualification alive and England need a win to guarantee top spot, and probably avoid the Netherlands in the last 16.

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Former England striker Daniel Sturridge shares his thoughts on Gareth Southgate's squad and the forwards the Three Lions possess

But after a lethargic display in the goalless draw against USA, Southgate will make some changes - in all likelihood, resting England's youngest two players, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham - who were outstanding against Iran but much more subdued against America.

Jordan Henderson will come in to stiffen the midfield against Wales, probably in place of Jude Bellingham, while Kyle Walker is also likely to earn a first start in Doha, having recovered from groin surgery.

Walker - along with Kalvin Phillips - needs game time if he's to play a useful part in the latter stages of the tournament.

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England captain Harry Kane was the first out to train as the squad prepare for their final group match against Wales at the World Cup

Henderson is England's vice-captain and his experience and calming influence in the middle of the park could be crucial in a game that is likely to have more in common with the physical feistiness of a Premier League match.

Whether or not Phil Foden gets his first start at this World Cup remains to be seen. There is a growing clamour for that to happen - Gary Neville has called him "a generational talent" who must play.

But if he does, where does he play? Possibly in a central role, in place of Mason Mount, or on one of the wings, for Raheem Sterling or Saka.

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Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward believes England are a 'top team' with or without Harry Kane in the side

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Sky Sports News' Rob Dorsett has the latest news from the England camp ahead of their final group game against Wales on Tuesday

So there are, as ever, a number of conundrums for the England boss to ponder. His ethos is to not take anything for granted and so he will be desperate for a win and a solid performance against the Welsh - not least to improve the worrying statistic that shows England have won only one of their last eight international matches.

But surely Southgate must also have one eye on the games to come and getting his squad knockout-match ready.

"I've sort of worked out how all of this works," said Southgate. "If we change it, we shouldn't have. If we win it was justified, if we don't it wasn't.

"We just have to make the best decisions with the information we have and prepare the team in the best possible way."

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Former England and Manchester United defender Gary Pallister heaps praise on Harry Maguire, who he described as England's most important player against the USA

How England will qualify for the round of 16 on Tuesday

England are currently top of Group B with four points after the opening two rounds of matches but Iran, Wales and USA can all still qualify.

While Wales will need to beat England on Tuesday night to have any chance of progressing from the group, England will progress as group winners with victory. A draw will also be enough to top the group if USA vs Iran ends in a stalemate as well.

And as long as England avoid a four-goal defeat or greater to Wales, they will be certain of reaching the last 16. But a defeat by Wales will leave Gareth Southgate's side vulnerable to progressing as runners-up - and a potential last-16 tie against Netherlands.

Iran are certain to go through if they avoid defeat to the USA and Wales don't win, while the USA will have to beat Iran to reach the last 16.

A Wales win and an Iran-USA draw would see Wales progress - but a four-goal defeat or greater is the only scenario in which England don't progress. It's also possible for England to lose to Wales and still finish top of the group.

Head-to-head record is the third tie-breaking method at this tournament, after goal difference and then goals scored.

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