Nations League predictions: England can rely on Kane goal

Mark Langdon
LiveScore
Harry Kane is set to return to the England starting XI on Tuesday
Harry Kane is set to return to the England starting XI on Tuesday

The marathon summer Nations League programme finally comes to an end tonight but the weary players will need to retain their focus with a number of important clashes before heading off on holiday. 

England are in urgent need of three points when they host Hungary, unbeaten sides Germany and Italy face off in Monchengladbach and Poland seek some pride against Belgium after last week's 6-1 humbling.

England vs Hungary (7.45pm BST)

Euro 2020 runners-up England have not made a flying start to their Nations League campaign. 

But this evening's home date with Hungary offers Gareth Southgate's men the opportunity to get a first win on the board. 

Molineux will be sold out — a far cry from the 3,000 allowed in for the clash with Italy on Saturday, when the Three Lions were held to a goalless draw.

Southgate has bemoaned the lack of attacking intent from his team outside of Harry Kane, who should return having been rested against the Azzurri, and a narrow home win in a low-scoring match is the most likely outcome.

Kane, 28, has scored in six of his last eight England starts and is the obvious place to look in terms of selecting someone to break the deadlock, while a 2-0 home win is anticipated. 

Hungary's matches tend to be short of action in the final third with their last five games producing a total of just eight goals. 

Germany vs Italy (7.45pm BST)

There is a trend in Germany's matches and it could continue against Italy with Hansi Flick's men potentially on for a fifth consecutive draw. 

Each of Die Mannschaft's last four fixtures — against the Netherlands, Italy, England and Hungary — have finished 1-1 and Flick will need his men to tighten up if they want to be considered serious World Cup contenders in Qatar later this year. 

The hosts have allowed 13 shots on target in their last two outings against Hungary and England, with Flick's determination to be a high-pressing unit not without risk. 

The Nations League is more important to the visitors after the European champions crashed out of World Cup qualifying and they can be content with their performances. 

Draws against the Germans and England as well as a 2-1 success over Hungary have put Roberto Mancini's men in a good spot to top the group if they avoid defeat at Borussia-Park.

Poland vs Belgium (7.45pm BST)

Robert Lewandowski scored the opener against Belgium last week
Robert Lewandowski scored the opener against Belgium last week

Revenge will be in the air in Warsaw where Poland can quickly turn the form table on its head by upsetting Belgium. 

It was only last week that the Red Devils bashed the Poles 6-1, although four goals in the last 17 minutes gave the scoreline a flattering look. 

Poland actually took the lead through Robert Lewandowski and the Bayern Munich superstar should return to the team after he was rested for Saturday's 2-2 draw away to the Netherlands. 

Once again, Czesław Michniewicz's side got their noses in front — this time 2-0 — before being pegged back but it was still a decent result against improving opponents. 

Belgium were beaten 4-1 by the Dutch and were then held to a 1-1 draw by Wales at the weekend, adding to the evidence this competition is low down on the list of priorities. 

Ukraine vs Republic of Ireland (7.45pm BST)

There are two matches in Poland on Tuesday with Ukraine facing the Republic of Ireland in Lodz. 

Ukraine have recovered superbly from missing out on a World Cup spot to Wales by beating Ireland 1-0 and Armenia 3-0 and another win looks likely here.

The Boys in Green were 3-0 winners over Scotland on Saturday, however manager Stephen Kenny is determined to bring through a new generation and with that comes inconsistency, as highlighted by a loss in Armenia earlier this month.

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