Tue, 25 Sep 2018
27
Casablanca

Harry Kane has told ESPN Brasil that England hope to use low expectations to spring a surprise in next summer's World Cup -- just as Portugal did at Euro 2016.

Barring injury, Tottenham striker Kane will lead the line for England in Russia, where they will face Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in the group stage.

England's only triumph in a major tournament remains the 1966 World Cup on home soil and they have won just six knockout matches since, culminating in the embarrassing round-of-16 defeat to Iceland two years ago in France.

Although Gareth Southgate's side finished the qualifiers unbeaten, Kane acknowledges that expectation is low ahead of the World Cup but says England can take heart from Portugal, who won the last major tournament against all odds.

"It's going to be amazing -- I'm really excited," Kane said of the World Cup. "Growing up and watching these things, I was just hoping one day to be there. From an England point of view, we've got some players doing great in the Premier League. We've just got to go there [to Russia] with a clear mind, play like we've been playing in Premier League and see where it takes us.

"There's not going to be no pressure. Of course there's going to be some sort of expectation. But not having won it in so long, no-one expects us to win it. As players, we have to go and first of try to get out of the group, see how we're playing, see who we get [in the knockouts] and go from there.

"Portugal weren't playing the best football at the time when they won the Euros but they found a way to win games and win [the tournament]. Anything can happen at the World Cup and we've got to be ready for it."

Asked to pick a favourite for the tournament, Kane said: "Of course, I'd choose England! But I'm not saying we're going to win it, I'm just saying we've got to be ready because anything can happen."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.

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