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Kieran Trippier fit to play for England vs. Belgium despite groin injury

Kieran Trippier is fit to play for England in the World Cup third-place game against Belgium after training with the rest of the squad on Friday.

The Tottenham Hotspur defender limped off in extra time of England's 2-1 semifinal loss to Croatia on Wednesday with a groin strain, having given his team the lead from a free kick in the fifth minute.

Jordan Henderson and Kyle Walker, who were also fitness doubts after being forced off in the additional period against Croatia, also trained to ensure that Gareth Southgate will have a full squad to pick from against Belgium.

Southgate has not yet indicated whether he will rotate his team for the game, but back-up goalkeeper Jack Butland said he would love to make his first World Cup appearance in St. Petersburg.

"You're never gifted an England appearance, but if I play, then that's brilliant," Butland said in a news conference. "I've done my best out here. I've tried to support Jordan [Pickford] the best I can to help give us the best chance as a team. If given the opportunity to play, I would love it, and hopefully, there'd be a few of my family out here to watch it as well.

"It's a difficult game because we wanted to be in the final. We'll need a day of dusting off, putting everything to bed and try to bury it as best we can. We want to try [to] finish on a high on Saturday and if given the chance, I'll relish it and enjoy it."


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Pickford, who said he wants to be selected in order to have a chance at winning the Golden Glove, is adamant that England still have every incentive to play as hard as they can for the win against Belgium.

"We came to win this tournament," Pickford said on Thursday. "We can't do that now but we want to finish third. Even if we can't finish as the best team in the world, we can still be the third-best.

"Of course, it will be hard to get ourselves up for it and that's where character comes in. It's another chance to show our togetherness. We want to finish a great tournament on a high. If we win, we can look back on it with a lot of pleasure, and that is what it is all about."

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