Gareth Southgate leads England through to 2018 World Cup

Jack Wilshere in Gareth Southgate's plans for the World Cup

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England host Slovenia at Wembley knowing that a win will ensure automatic qualification to next summer's World Cup, but the Three Lions could also earn a ticket to Russian Federation if they draw against Slovenia and away against Lithuania on Sunday (8 October).

Never ones to do things the easy way, even when Ireland's group destiny is in their hands, they'll need a bit of help to make the playoffs.

The close call energised a previously lethargic England and they went close again when a remarkable double block by Slovenia captain Bostjan Cesar denied Raheem Sterling. A win tonight against Slovenia would bring them one step closer to that goal, and if Slovenia loses to Scotland next, the Three Lions will definitely be in Russian Federation.

Harry Kane netted in the fourth minute of stoppage time to earn England their victory over Slovenia after an uninspiring performance.

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England conclude their Group F campaign away to Lithuania on Sunday but Southgate does not plan to release players despite having clinched qualification.

"Some of that can happen before Russian Federation, some can't because in certain areas there are maybe young players in our system who aren't going to be ready for the next 18 months, two years".

It is no easy thing getting to a World Cup, there are some big countries around the world that are struggling.

"There are one or two players we'd definitely like to have a look at and it's one of very few games we have now to build towards the World Cup".

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Martin Skrtel's 89th-minute own goal gave Scotland a 1-0 victory over Slovakia, who were reduced to 10 men in the 23rd minute when Robert Mak was shown a second yellow card for diving.

"England's poor performance drew mockery and sarcasm from some sections of a dissatisfied Wembley crowd, clearly unimpressed by what they were witnessing", Bill McNulty, chief football writer at BBC Sport, wrote.

Slovenia coach Srecko Katanec revealed he will step down after his side's final game at home to Scotland.

That goal would win the game for Southgate's side, who now progress to next summer's finals, albeit after a thoroughly flaccid display on the night.

Sunny, high near 70 — TODAY'S FORECAST
Thursday , there is a 70 percent chance of storms before 1 p.m., with more rain and storms after 1 p.m., the weather service said. Tonight the NWS is calling for a low around 44 with the winds turning to the south, but remaining calm at 5 to 7 miles per hour .

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