England vs Ivory Coast news: Three Lions can roar to victory against Elephants

Gareth Southgate’s men fought back well to beat Switzerland on Saturday and can continue their fine record in friendlies by seeing off Ivory Coast on Tuesday night.

England aren't always the prettiest to watch but they know how to win and showed that again with a 2-1 victory over Switzerland on Saturday evening.

The Three Lions, who took 26 points out of 30 in World Cup qualifying, fell a goal down but Gareth Southgate's experimental side responded well with goals from Luke Shaw and Harry Kane to get over the line.

Now they'll hope to make it back-to-back friendly wins by passing a different test and beating an Ivory Coast side that lost 2-1 to France in Marseilles at the weekend.

When: Tuesday, March 29, 19:45 GMT

Where: Wembley

How to watch: Sky Sports

Follow this game via our live score centre

Who is the ref for England vs Ivory Coast

Erik Lambrechts is in charge at Wembley.

The Belgian referee averages just under four bookings per game and isn't afraid to point to the spot. Good news for Kane maybe.

Season stats 2021/22: All games (28), yellows (108), reds (6), penalties (9)

Recent form

England had it easy in their final four World Cup qualifiers, scoring 21 goals against San Marino, Albania, Andorra and Hungary.

They were given a much harder test by Switzerland at Wembley and looked to be heading into the break 1-0 down after Breel Embolo headed the visitors in front after 22 minutes.

But Luke Shaw blasted in an equaliser in first-half stoppage time and Harry Kane moved joint-second on the all-time England scoring list alongside Sir Bobby Charlton after slotting home a penalty with 12 minutes remaining.

It wasn't vintage stuff and Switzerland had more shots (12-9) but the result represented a ninth straight win in friendly internationals for England.

While England as hosts were huffing and puffing a little, Ivory Coast had a friendly of their own, losing 2-1 to World Cup holders France.

Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe put the Africans ahead but, in a mirror of the England game, the home side fought back to win 2-1.

The French left it even later with Aurelien Tchouameni grabbing the winner in added time.

That was Ivory Coast's first game since their African Cup of Nations campaign ended in the last 16 with a penalty shootout defeat to eventual runners-up Egypt.

In the group phase, they'd beaten Equatorial Guinea 1-0, drawn 2-2 with Sierra Leone and defeated Algeria 3-1.

England and Ivory Coast players in form

Kane has an almost absurd eight goals in his last three internationals after following hat-tricks against Albania and San Marino with the winner against Switzerland.

Going further back he's scored at least once in six of his last eight starts for England.

That rush of goals has taken him to 49 and within four of Wayne Rooney's Three Lions record of 53.

England's Harry Kane celebrates scoring his side's second goal from the penalty spot during the Alzheimer's Society international match at Wembley Stadium, London.

Conor Gallagher, who was making his full England debut, only played for an hour against the Swiss but gained rave reviews for basically reprising his excellent Crystal Palace form.

Pepe may struggle to get regular starts at Arsenal but he's been in impressive form on the international stage.

His opener against France was Pepe's third goal in four games for his country and stretching further back he's netted in five of his last 11 for Ivory Coast.

Ex-West Ham striker Sebastian Haller has three in eight for the Elephants while he's been on fire for Ajax this season, banging in 11 goals in the Champions League and 20 in the Eredivisie.

The visitors' talented frontline also boasts Wilfried Zaha and the Palace man has four in his last seven starts for the Eagles.

Previous meetings

Somewhat surprisingly this is the first ever meeting between the pair at international level.

England's last game against African opposition was a 2-1 friendly win over Nigeria in June 2018.

That was a 2-1 win with, you've guessed it, Kane getting what proved to be the decisive goal.

Managers' thoughts

England manager Gareth Southgate following a training session at St George's Park, Burton-upon-Trent

Gareth Southgate: "We'll make changes. We think that's the right thing to do.

"We want to keep all of the squad involved. I think that has been a strength for us. Players who come in perform well at the level and the team march on.

"They need to feel that we've got the confidence in them to go into any game and we're also at a stage of the season where their load is heavy and we've got to make sure we try and navigate that in the best way possible."

Predicted England vs Ivory Coast teams

Southgate is keen to shuffle the pack but will have to wait on fitness news regarding two of the players he wants to give starts to: defender John Stones and attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.

Stones pulled up in the warm-up against Switzerland having been named in the starting XI.

Marc Guehi and Kyle Walker-Peters both made their debuts against Switzerland while Tyrick Mitchell also got his first minutes for England.

The starting XI could include Harry Maguire, Declan Rice, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling after the quartet didn't make the starting line-up on Saturday.

Gareth Southgate Jack Grealish England Jul21

Possible England line-up: Pickford, Walker-Peters, Coady, Maguire, Mitchell, Rice, Bellingham, Grealish, Mount, Sterling, Kane.

Ivory Coast have plenty of riches up front and Burnley's Maxwel Cornet and Max Gradel could push for starts.

Possible Ivory Coast starting line-up: Sangare, Aurier, Boly, Bailly, Konan, Akoukou, Seri, Kessie, Pepe, Zaha, Haller.

England vs Switzerland prediction

It's another decent test for England and Ivory Coast were so close to holding France to a draw on Saturday.

On the world rankings, Ivory Coast are only 51st, (37 places lower than Switzerland) so, on paper, this is a slightly easier test.

However, the visitors have some impressive forwards so expect both teams to find the net but England to come out top.

Another 2-1 scoreline could well be on the cards.

READ MORE: Where are they now? Gareth Southgate's first line-up as England under-21 manager

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