Southgate optimistic over Alli recovery for Belgium decider

Dele Alli is recovering well ahead of England's final Group G game against Belgium, according to Gareth Southgate.

England midfielder Dele Alli   -  Getty Images

Gareth Southgate feels England's qualification for the last 16 of the World Cup has taken the pressure off Dele Alli as he recovers from a thigh injury, but said that the midfielder is "progressing well".

Alli played 80 minutes of England's 2-1 win over Tunisia in its Group G opener, but was an unused substitute for Sunday's 6-1 victory over Panama in its second game.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek deputised for the Tottenham playmaker as England romped to victory, but Southgate indicated that he may have the option of selecting Alli again ahead of its final group game against Belgium on Thursday.

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"Dele is progressing well. He's had an opportunity to train on the field today and we'll know exactly how close for the Belgium game after [Monday]. It takes pressure out of the decision for playing in that game but if he's ready it's a good opportunity for him," Southgate told reporters after the win over Panama.

Southgate added that the strapping on Kieran Trippier's leg after the win in Nizhny Novgorod was not a major concern, saying: "Kieran was feeling a tiny twinge towards half-time but he came over and said that he was absolutely fine."

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