England vs. Slovenia: World Cup 2018 Qualifying Live Stream, Preview

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2017

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02:  Harry Kane of England (C) warms up with team mates during an England training session at St Georges Park on October 2, 2017 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. England are due to play Slovenia and Lithuania in upcoming World Cup qualifiers.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

England host Slovenia at London's Wembley Stadium in a vital Group F qualifier for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The Three Lions will officially qualify for next summer's tournament with a win on Thursday.

England top the group with a six-point cushion over the visitors, who sit third.

Manager Gareth Southgate has refreshed his options in the England squad, including handing a debut call-up to Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks. Meanwhile, fellow Spurs man Dele Alli is suspended.

Before a preview, here are the schedule and viewing details:

     

Date: Thursday, October 5

Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET.

TV Info: ITV 1, Fox Sports 2.

Live Stream: ITV.comfuboTV.

     

Southgate's men will be hoping to secure qualification ahead of schedule, despite the England manager dealing with some injury problems.

Southgate has been dealing with suspensions and injuries within his squad.
Southgate has been dealing with suspensions and injuries within his squad.Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Southgate called up 21-year-old Winks after injuries to Manchester United centre-back Phil Jones and Manchester City utility man Fabian Delph, per BBC Sport. The same report also revealed how "Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson and Michael Keane missed Monday's training at St George's Park, and instead took part in a recovery session."

At least Southgate will be able to rely on the awesome scoring potential offered by Tottenham's Harry Kane. The prolific No. 10 has been on a tear in the Premier League, recently matching the exploits of another famous goal-getter in the annals of England's top flight, per Squawka Football:

An in-form Kane is again set to lead the line for his country, with Bournemouth's Jermain Defoe on hand to offer back-up. Yet the support from midfield will be key, making Winks' inclusion potentially significant.

The young playmaker is a technically gifted gem who is comfortable in possession and has an eye for goal. Those are the qualities England usually count on from Alli, yet the 21-year-old is banned after making an offensive gesture during the last qualifier against Slovakia, per Ben Rumsby of the Daily Telegraph.

Alli's absence will put the onus on Winks to deliver some creativity in a midfield otherwise bereft of craft.

After receiving his call-up, Winks took to Twitter to express his pride at taking a step forward in international terms:

At least the England midfield features the destructive qualities of Liverpool's Henderson and West Bromwich Albion's Jake Livermore. Both could be key in subduing Slovenia attacking midfielders Josip Ilicic and Kevin Kampl.

However, the duel between Kane and Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak will define this match. The Slovenia No. 1 is usually solid as a rock for Los Rojiblancos, yet no stopper is managing to frustrate the Spurs star at the moment.

Oblak will attempt to stop Kane's scoring run.
Oblak will attempt to stop Kane's scoring run.JURE MAKOVEC/Getty Images

Expect Tottenham's attacking talisman to settle this key match and secure his country's place in the World Cup ahead of schedule.