FORMER Chelsea and England star Kerry Dixon has no fears about the lack of strikers available to national boss Gareth Southgate although admits it is a big blow to the Three Lions’ hopes against Germany without in-form Harry Kane.
Southgate named his squad today for the forthcoming friendly with Germany and the World Cup qualifier with Lithuania – and it contained a few surprises.
Notably the recall after a three-year absence of Jermain Defoe who makes up a quartet of strikers that includes Marcus Rashford, Nathan Redmond and Jamie Vardy.
Dixon made his full England debut against West Germany in the Aztec under Bobby Robson at a time when England had a profusion of talented goalscorers including Gary Lineker.
Mind you, even two goals against Germany didn’t cement Kerry’s place in the World Cup team.
Dixon will be giving live and personal commentary on the Germany-England game from Planet Hollywood next Wednesday after a screening of his revealing film of his life story: ‘Legends Lives’.
Dixon, the top scoring Chelsea No 9, believes Manchester United teenager Rashford has the makings of a gifted England striker, while Vardy has the pace to frighten any defence, as England might once again pull off an unexpected victory against the world champions.
In an exclusive interview to promote the live event at Planet Hollywood, Dixon says: “England will be up against it in Germany, but I recall no-one gave them a chance when Michael Owen scored a hat trick in a 5-1 win in a magnificent performance
“It is a big blow that Harry Kane is out, he’s been in great form but Rashford and Vardy are forwards I like very much.
“Vardy is pacy, works extremely hard, puts defences under pressure, Rashford played very well at Chelsea the other night, but has been in and out of the United side, yet he’s a good talent and going to be a star.
“Whether he’s a hardened international jsut yet that would be needed against Germany, clearly he isn’t but sometimes strange things happen under strange circumstances and you never know the outcome even in Germany, so its a game well worth watching, and could throw up more surprises.”
Gareth Southgate is without captain Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and now the injured Kane, but Dixon argues: “I would stick with what they’ve got. England are solid without being spectacular, but who knows it might be a night to remember against the Germans.
“It is always a passionate game even if its a friendly when Germany are involved, the sort of passion that’s aroused we’d have when we played the Old Enemy, Scotland.”
* Join me for my personal punditry on German/England at Planet Hollywood/and watch my Legends Live film, Wednesday 22nd Planet Hollywood.