Gareth Southgate expects an improved performance from England and mentally refreshed captain Harry Kane as his side look to all but wrap up World Cup qualification by beating Albania.

A sell-out crowd will flock to Wembley on Friday for the final home match of a mammoth international year that saw the Three Lions fall to an agonising Euro 2020 penalty shootout loss to Italy.

England should have another shot at a first trophy since 1966 in Qatar next winter given they boast a three-point cushion over nearest rivals Poland with just two Group I games to go.

A trip to minnows San Marino provides the ideal final opposition after Friday’s match against Albania, who Southgate expects a response against following their poor performance in last month’s 1-1 home draw with Hungary.

This Is Local London: England's Harry Kane (right) and Raheem Sterling during a training session at St George's Park. Credit: PAEngland's Harry Kane (right) and Raheem Sterling during a training session at St George's Park. Credit: PA

“We know from looking at the other results around Europe that most teams have dropped points at one stage or other,” the England manager told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It’s not easy to go a whole qualifying campaign without dropping points.

“We’ve still got a bit to do. Our focus this week has been on performance levels and making sure that we get the performance levels right.

“And, of course, we’re going to play a very competitive opponent who are still alive in the competition, so we’ve got to be mentally prepared as well.

“Last month we dealt very well with the game in Andorra, which could have been more complicated, and really the one performance where we didn’t hit our level was against Hungary.

“So, I think we’re keen to put that right. We’ve talked about that and we’ve talked about the areas for improvement, and we expect to put that right tomorrow.”

How to watch England's World Cup qualifiers

England face Albania at Wembley on Friday night, with kick off at 7.45pm.

They will round out their World Cup qualifying campaing with a trip to minnows San Marino on Monday night.

Kick off for that game will also be at 7.45pm.

Both games will be shown live on ITV 1 and on the ITV Player.