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Kane, Sterling and Rashford give England cause for confidence

• Gareth Southgate’s attacking trident all in fine form for clubs
• England face Czech Republic and Montenegro in qualifiers

English football appears to be having a moment. There are four Premier League clubs in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2009 and, while the actual number of English players involved in that success might be relatively small, the upside for Gareth Southgate when international football returns on Friday is the ability to select one of the most potent forward lines available to anyone attempting to reach next year’s European Championship.

Injury permitting, England should be able to field Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford against the Czech Republic at Wembley and for the trip to Montenegro, a trio of goalscoring forwards all in top form for their clubs. It is true Sterling and Rashford are behind Kane in terms of scoring goals for their country, though both are enjoying the sort of Manchester seasons that suggest they can be more than just support acts as England look to build on the progress made last year.

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