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England team to play Spain: Lineups for UEFA Nations League game at Wembley

Gareth Southgate sets England key objective to prove they are a top side after World Cup

Gareth Southgate’s England stars face Spain tonight determined to prove their World Cup heroics were no summer fling.

The Three Lions boss said: “We’ve got to convince ourselves it wasn’t a one-off. That’s the most important thing. That was a moment in time.”

Skipper Harry Kane will receive the Golden Boot as the side that won back the hearts of the nation by reaching the semi-finals in Russia are welcomed back by a packed Wembley tonight.

But Southgate now wants his men to show they can beat the best by winning the inaugural Nations League.

Southgate said: “Our record against top teams in competitive games is non-existent, it is not impressive, bar Argentina in 2002 (World Cup finals in Sapporo).

“It is very rare since 1970 we have beaten those top teams.

“We have come a long way from Wembley (last year) and the fans throwing paper aeroplanes and we were thinking: ‘Why are we here?’

“But we must not stop learning and improving and this will be a good test.”

Southgate intends to send out a strong side with Spain under new boss Luis Enrique team set to provide a tough test.

Speaking at the England team hotel in Hertfordshire last night, he added: “I remember there was a lad who cycled up here to the hotel on his bike [before the World Cup], he was waiting for us – he was 13.

“He was there today, too. He felt like I did in 1990. Two generations of supporters have experienced something they’ve never experienced before.”

Gareth Southgate during training

Gareth Southgate during training (Image: REUTERS)

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