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Allardyce: I'd bench Kane for Belgium game

Sam Allardyce

Kane goes into England's final group match leading the Golden Boot charts on five goals scored, having put two past Tunisia and grabbed a somewhat fortuitous hat-trick against Panama on matchday two. 

Gareth Southgate had alluded to resting his skipper earlier in the week, but reports suggest that his 24-year-old goal-getter will get his wish to lead the line for England in Kaliningrad.

Ex-England chief Allardyce, however, believes a pragmatic approach to Kane's fitness would be more beneficial. The 63-year-old infamously managed only one Three Lions game in September 2016, steering them to a 1-0 win in Slovakia before being caught up in a Telegraph sting which led to his swift resignation. 

Speaking at the William Hill Arms Pub in London, Allardyce said: “I would say to Harry – ‘Look, if you want to be the leading goalscorer then we need to go as far as we can in the competition and you need to be as fresh as you possibly can. So I’m going to put you on the subs bench for this game and play Jamie Vardy.

“Going forward you’ll have plenty more chances to score goals because we know we’re through. And you’ll be fresher. It’s a big demand on the players to play three games at this period of time, especially with the heat and mental pressure on them.”

Allardyce still has fond memories of his one and only game in charge of England, and holds it among the proudest of his career.

“The national anthem before the game; the week or 10 days building up to it. It was just a great pleasure to work with those players for that short period of time,” he told FourFourTwo. “We got so much out of them in that first game, even though we should have won about 4-0 and we suffered from missing chances. 

“I was thinking that we were probably going to get a little bit of criticism if we didn't win it, but when Adam Lallana scored it was a great feeling.”

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce was speaking at the William Hill Arms, which will offer fans the ultimate England watching experience – including expert analysis, plus free food and drink. For your chance to win exclusive access to England’s final group game, head to William Hill's Twitter or Facebook pages. William Hill has over 200 markets available on every World Cup match. #ThisIsMore #itscominghome