Southgate warns Toney

IVAN TONEY will get the chance to gatecrash England’s Euro 2024 squad today.

The Brentford striker, who returned from an eight-month betting ban in January, will start against Belgium at Wembley as Harry Kane has returned to Bayern Munich with an injury.

Asked if it is a big chance for Toney, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate said: “You can’t hide that fact. He knows. It would be his first start so you’ve got to bear that in mind.

“With England, that’s the landscape — you don’t get hundreds of opportunities.

“I think every player recognises that’s the world we live in.”

One-cap Toney, 28, is up against Ollie Watkins in the race for a spot in Germany this summer.

The Aston Villa striker struggled against Brazil on Saturday, putting Toney under even greater focus.

Southgate said: “He’s a confident guy, he comes in on the back of a good run of form with his club.

“He will be on the field on Tuesday, no question.

“The quality of his football can be underestimated. His passing, his link play.

“You look at him being a big guy but he’s not just a target man.”

Toney, who has scored four times since returning from his ban, is deadly at penalties and has scored 28 out of 30 spot-kicks.

Southgate added: “It’s a great asset to have.

“Confidence is crucial, especially for forward players. That swagger, that self-belief is crucial.

“All of the top forward players have it.”

Southgate will make a number of changes for the Belgium game.

Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite could win his first cap in central defence while Jarrod Bowen is set to start out wide. — Sun.

 

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