SportsToney, Rice Take Centre Stage For England's Belgium Test

Toney, Rice Take Centre Stage For England’s Belgium Test

GTBCO FOOD DRINL

March 25, (THEWILL) – Ivan Toney is poised to make only his second England appearance when they face Belgium in Tuesday’s friendly.

Alongside the 24-year-old, midfielder Declan Rice will reach a significant milestone, earning his 50th cap while wearing the captain’s armband, according to manager Gareth Southgate’s comments on Monday.

Toney received his first England call-up since serving an eight-month suspension for breaching FA betting rules. The Brentford striker will play for the first time since his debut, exactly a year ago.

With captain Harry Kane sidelined due to an ankle injury, Toney will have the opportunity to lead the line and try to impress ahead of the Euros after Ollie Watkins struggled up front in last week’s 1-0 loss to Brazil.

“Ivan will be involved in the game for sure,” Southgate told reporters, adding: “I have to say, with everything that’s happened, the original idea or plan for the week is a little bit different.

“We’re probably finding out about more players but that’s really helpful. To see all those players against high-level opposition will help us make better decisions moving forward.”

With several senior figures such as defenders Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire also missing due to injury, Southgate said Arsenal’s £105 million midfielder Rice would wear the captain’s armband.

“It’s his 50th cap. He has great leadership experience already at a tender age and I think it’s a brilliant opportunity for some of our younger players to show leadership and experience it,” Southgate said.

Rice said he was left “absolutely speechless” when informed he would captain England and lead the side out at Wembley Stadium.

“When he (Southgate) told me last night, I shook his hand, gave him a hug and said, ‘Thank you’. I owe him a lot. Since I first came into the team, he’s made me feel at home. For my 50th cap, to walk out in front of my friends and family is an absolute honour,” an excited Rice said.

About the Author

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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.

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Jude Obafemi, THEWILLhttps://thewillnews.com
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.

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