Joe Hart still England's No 1, says Southgate

Tottenham duo Dele Alli and Harry Kane battle for the ball during a possession drill

That means the Three Lions can't ease up just yet, and that they'll be hoping a win over Malta on Friday moves them considerably closer to booking their place at Russian Federation 2018.

Four matches remain for England in the group stages of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers from UEFA confederation.

England, playing in their first match since Wayne Rooney announced his worldwide retirement, started with Joe Hart in goal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield, following his move to Liverpool from Arsenal on transfer deadline day.

Three minutes later Dele Alli's cross found his Tottenham teammate Kane, whose header was kept out by Hogg at full length, as the usually clinical striker was made to wait for his first goal of the season.

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England's Jordan Henderson and Malta's Zach Muscat (right) battle for the ball. England are now only one game from qualifying for the World Cup but the mood could probably be summed up by the reaction to the pitch invader.

In June, the brilliance of Mbappe and Dembele enabled France to weather the mid-game dismissal of Raphael Varane and beat England 3-2 at Stade de France, but rather than being cowed, Kane was inspired.

After a disappointing first half, Southgate responded by introducing Marcus Rashford for the frustrated Sterling as he searched for a breakthrough.

Writing in his column on the official Sky Sports website, Nicholas is confident that Alli will notch up another goal against Malta this time around along with his Spurs teammate Kane.

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Jordan Henderson would love to be England's next permanent captain - and has bought into Gareth Southgate's dream to develop the best team in the world.

Rashford then stung Hogg's hands with a fizzing drive before Bertrand made it 2-0 from range five minutes from time and Welbeck added a third with his first worldwide goal for two-and-a-half years.

Kane, though, said people should realise that Malta had set out to stifle and frustrate England - it is the first time in three meetings an England side has beaten the Maltese by more than a goal.

As for Malta, they welcome Jean Paul Farrugia back into the fold after he served a suspension in the last match.

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