Harry Kane leading England's stars as they look to build on World Cup showing

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The two Harrys, Kane and Maguire, starred for England at the World Cup.

Nobody expected England to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup this summer, but thanks to their spine – goalkeeper, centre-back, and striker – they pulled off an unexpected run that thrilled their fans.

Along with the rest of the squad, Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire, and Harry Kane all returned to England as heroes, and they’ve taken the boost of confidence into their Premier League campaigns.

Here’s a look at how all three have fared since the summer.

HARRY KANE

Appearances: 12

Goals: 6

Assists: 1

Kane supposedly hasn’t been in form since towards the end of last season. So an out-of-form Tottenham and England striker won the Golden Boot at the World Cup, and is again among the top scorers in the Premier League this season.

The truth is, there was a brief spell where Kane looked off-colour, but he was still contributing to the team in whatever way he could, as well as popping up with the odd goal.

Kane has been banging in the goals in the Premier League.

Kane has been banging in the goals in the Premier League.

HARRY MAGUIRE

Appearances: 10

Goals: 2

Tackles: 18 

Maguire rushed back from his post-World Cup break and though he looked understandably rusty in his first game for Leicester City this season, since then he’s been the composed, uncompromising defender everyone saw in Russia.

The Foxes have needed him to be on top form, because next to him, Wes Morgan is struggling, making the entire backline jittery. Maguire has needed to bail his partner out on more than one occasion.

Leading light: Harry Maguire enjoyed a spectacular World Cup with England.

Leading light: Harry Maguire enjoyed a spectacular World Cup with England.

JORDAN PICKFORD

Appearances: 9

Saves: 20

Clean Sheets: 1

After a season and a World Cup spent looking like one of the best young goalkeepers in Europe, Pickford has largely continued to display that form for his club.

The defence in front of him at Everton has been shaky, keeping him busy, and though at times he himself can look a little flustered (against West Ham in particular), he’s largely been a solid presence in between the goalposts.

Pickford enhanced his reputation after a fine World Cup for England.

Pickford enhanced his reputation after a fine World Cup for England.

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In-form Mbappe and Griezmann but Pogba has struggled since World Cup triumph

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Griezmann, Pogba, and Mbappe have endured conflicting fortunes.

France’s World Cup triumph was built on the back of impressive performances from a whole host of players, but Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba were their standout stars in Russia.

They’re set to link up again, for the second time since the summer, during the upcoming international break, as France take on Iceland in a friendly and then Germany in a UEFA Nations League fixture.

Three months on from their magical night in Moscow, here’s a look at how the three stars have fared since the biggest win of their lives.

KYLIAN MBAPPE

Appearances: 9

Goals: 11

Assists: 4

The man who was named the World Cup’s best young player, and became the first teenager to score in the final since Pele in 1958, has continued to set the world on fire since the start of the new season.

Mbappe is one of only two players in Europe’s top five leagues – the other being Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar – to have been involved in 11 domestic goals this season, with eight goals and three assists. That includes a four-goal burst in PSG’s weekend win over Lyon, and a goal at Anfield, albeit in a disappointing loss to Liverpool.

Kylian Mbappe is still on top of the world.

Kylian Mbappe is still on top of the world.

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN

Appearances: 13

Goals: 4

Assists: 4

The player who was named the third-best player at the World Cup has picked up right where he left off after leading France to the title.

Having announced his decision to stay with Atletico Madrid during the summer, Griezmann has helped his club brush off a slow start to the season and climb to third in the La Liga table, just one point behind leaders Sevilla.

Griezmann has been in top form to start the season.

Griezmann has been in top form to start the season.

PAUL POGBA

Appearances: 12

Goals: 4

Assists: 3

Three months ago, Paul Pogba was scoring in a World Cup final and answering critics by dabbing with the Jules Rimet trophy.

Now, those critics are back in full force, as the midfielder has had an up-and-down campaign with Manchester United and his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho has seemingly descended into chaos. His own form has been inconsistent, he’s been stripped of the vice-captaincy, and there’s talk of a move away soon.

Things have not been going well for Pogba since this moment.

Things have not been going well for Pogba since this moment.

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Real Madrid star Gareth Bale winning fitness race to play for Wales

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Gareth Bale is injured and struggling for form.

Gareth Bale is set to win his fitness battle and play in Wales’ Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland.

Bale remains doubtful for the Cardiff friendly with Spain on Thursday after coming off in the closing stages of Real Madrid‘s La Liga defeat at Alaves last weekend.

The 29-year-old has been troubled by a groin injury in recent weeks, but he trained on Tuesday and the Wales medical staff will continue to monitor his fitness ahead of the Spain game.

Although that clash might be too soon for him, Press Association Sport understands that Bale is in line to start in Dublin next Tuesday.

If Bale does miss out against Spain, Harry Wilson could be on free-kick duty after his stunning effort at Old Trafford for Derby last month.

The on-loan Liverpool winger scored a spectacular 30-yard effort to earn praise from Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp and a rebuke from his Wales manager and Manchester United great Ryan Giggs.

“He (Klopp) messaged me after the game,” said Wilson, who copied the previous Old Trafford goal celebrations of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard by holding one hand aloft to show five fingers, referring to Liverpool’s five European cups – compared to United’s three.

“He just said ‘fantastic free-kick, really great football’.

“It’s great to hear from the manager whose team you want to be in in the future.

“He (Giggs) did mention a fine to me when I got into camp, but the celebration was just heat of the moment.

“I practice my free-kicks a lot and spend time with a couple of lads to get that technique.

“I think Gareth is definitely top of the pile when it comes to taking them, and rightly so.

“But if he’s not on the pitch for one reason or another, I’ll be putting my name forward.”

Wilson will also be keeping an eye on England during the international break as he shares a Derby flat with fellow loanee Mason Mount.

The Chelsea youngster earned his first England call-up for the Nations League games against Croatia and Spain despite never having played in the Premier League.

“He’s been great for us all season. He’s scoring, assisting and deserves his call-up,” Wilson said.

“Mason’s a great lad to live with, even if he’s a bit messy and the flat is a bit dirty at the minute!

“We go to the cinema, go shopping, go out for food and we try to do that with a couple of our team-mates as well.

“We’re setting up a Come Dine with Me in Derby. Every other week some people will come to our house and we’ve got to cook for them and try some new recipes.

“My speciality is spaghetti bolognese, and I have to say I’m a better chef than Mason.”

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