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Nations League predictions: Kane can fire England to victory

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Harry Kane will have his sights set on his 50th international goal when England face Hungary in Budapest tonight. 

The Three Lions start their preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with a trip to the Puskas Arena for the first of four Nations League matches this month.  

Hungary failed to qualify for the showpiece tournament this winter after a poor run of results but Gareth Southgate’s men are likely to be among the favourites to lift the famous gold trophy. 

The visitors will face a stiff test against Marco Rossi’s side, who have won three of their last four matches.

But the hosts will need to end an erratic run on home soil, having won only three of their last 10 in front of their own fans. 

In nine games since losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties, England have won seven and drawn two, scoring 35 goals along the way. 

Team news

Winger Kevin Varga is the only player from Hungary’s previous squad in March to drop out, with Rossi handing maiden call-ups to four players, including 17-year-old striker Zalan Vansca. 

Adam Szalai will continue to captain the side as he tries to break into the top 10 of his country’s all-time appearance list. 

Arsenal centre-back Ben White withdrew from England duty due to a muscle injury, while Southgate must check on the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold after his Champions League exploits with Liverpool. 

West Ham ace Jarrod Bowen and Leicester’s James Justin are hoping to earn their first senior caps. 

But with three more games to come after the trip to Budapest, they may have to bide their time. 

Jarrod Bowen is pushing for his first England cap but may have to wait
Jarrod Bowen is pushing for his first England cap but may have to wait

The stats

England head into the match with a fair degree of confidence in what is the 25th meeting between the two sides. 

Hungary have failed to win any of their last 15 games against the Three Lions, with their last success coming in 1962. 

The visitors are unbeaten on their last six trips to Hungary, while Southgate could become the first England manager to win consecutive away matches against them. 

England are unbeaten inside 90 minutes in their last 22 matches in all competitions and conceded just six goals during that run. 

Predictions

The two played out a 1-1 draw at Wembley in October 2021 and Hungary have since beaten San Marino, Poland and Northern Ireland. 

However, they have failed to score in three of their last five games at home and that should play into England’s hands. 

Southgate’s men hammered San Marino 10-0 on their last trip overseas and the form book suggests they will leave Budapest with all three points without conceding. 

Anyone hoping to pick an anytime goalscorer should look no further than Tottenham striker Kane. 

The Three Lions skipper, 28, could become just the second Englishman to reach 50 goals in all competitions for his country. 

Kane has scored 15 in his last 13 international appearances and could be a good shout to net two or more tomorrow night. 

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