Kane-Vardy pair-up likely

Harry Kane (far left) passing on instructions to Jamie Vardy after coming on as a substitute for England against the Netherlands at Wembley in March. Vardy scored in the 1-2 loss and both will fancy their starting chances at Euro 2016 next month if m
Harry Kane (left) passing on instructions to Jamie Vardy after coming on as a substitute for England against the Netherlands at Wembley in March. Vardy scored in the 1-2 loss and both will fancy their starting chances at Euro 2016 next month if manager Roy Hodgson opts for a two-man attack. PHOTO: REUTERS

EPL hotshots get chance to stake claim for Euro with striking contenders unavailable

LONDON • Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane hopes to get an opportunity to partner Jamie Vardy when England tackle Turkey today in the first of their three Euro 2016 warm-up football matches.

Kane's 25 English Premier League goals earned him the Golden Boot, with Vardy finishing the campaign one goal behind after inspiring Leicester City to their fairy-tale title triumph.

The pair have started just one England game together - last October's 3-0 win in Lithuania - but with Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford on FA Cup final duty with Manchester United and Daniel Sturridge expected to be rested after playing for Liverpool in the Europa League final, they may be aligned together again at the Etihad Stadium.

"Jamie has had a fantastic season and scored a lot of goals, so if we are playing together it will be very exciting," Kane told reporters at England's St George's Park training centre this week.

"We are different sorts of players. He has got a lot of pace and can run in behind - that will probably allow me to drop off and get into space.

FEEDING OFF EACH OTHER

We are different sorts of players. He has got a lot of pace and can run in behind - that will probably allow me to drop off and get into space.

HARRY KANE, England striker, on the different playing styles of himself and fellow England international Jamie Vardy.

"If the manager puts us together, we will be ready to go and try to score as many goals as we can."

England manager Roy Hodgson is expected to approach Euro 2016 with a two-man strike force operating in front of a midfield diamond, although he has also utilised a 4-3-3 system on occasion.

With Rooney, England's captain and record scorer with 51 goals, now operating in a midfield role for United, there could be an opportunity for Kane and Vardy to form an enduring partnership up front.

The two went head-to-head in the Premier League title race and Vardy, 29, bared his claws on social media in response to a photograph posted on Instagram by 22-year-old Kane.

Kane's image showed four lions on the prowl - apparently a reference to his team's pursuit of Leicester - and when Spurs' 2-2 draw at Chelsea handed the Foxes the title, Vardy retaliated with a picture of Mufasa, head of the pride in the Disney animated film The Lion King, sliding to his death.

But Kane said: "We had a bit of banter over social media, but everything is all good."

With his United and Liverpool players absent, Hodgson had only 19 members of his 26-man squad at his disposal for training on Thursday ahead of today's match, which will be followed by games against Australia and Portugal.

But Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson took part after being an unused substitute in his club's 1-3 loss to Sevilla in Basel on Wednesday, which followed a month-long absence with a knee injury.

Hodgson is also set to offer Jack Wilshere and Dele Alli starts against Turkey.

The Arsenal midfielder has made only three first-team appearances this season after returning from injury, while Alli missed the last three games of Tottenham's season through suspension.

Turkey are gearing up for their first major tournament since reaching the semi-finals at Euro 2008, having failed to qualify for Euro 2012 and the last two World Cups.

Fatih Terim's side face Croatia, the Czech Republic and two-time defending champions Spain in Group D in France, after scraping through qualifying as the best of the nine third-placed teams.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

ENGLAND V TURKEY

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 22, 2016, with the headline 'Kane-Vardy pair-up likely'. Print Edition | Subscribe