Sports

Rashford in injury doubt ahead of England's opener vs Tunisia

Rashford in injury doubt ahead of England's opener vs Tunisia

England have arrived at their training base in Repino, near St. Petersburg, to begin their World Cup preparations ahead of their Russian Federation 2018 opener against Tunisia on Monday.

But he did so having been among those seemingly selected in what many of them now suspect is the line-up against the north Africans.

Preparations for next Monday's Group G opener against Tunisia could scarcely have gone any better up until now, with the initial 23-man selection remaining intact after beating Nigeria and Costa Rica.

The team checked in at the forRestMix Club on Tuesday evening, meaning players have yet to do anything other than rest and train.

Youthful duo John Stones and Harry Maguire are contenders to start even though the former is fourth choice at Manchester City and has barely played in 2018, while the latter has just three appearances. Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling up front, Lingard and Dele Alli in the more advanced positions in midfield.

England are chomping at the bit to get started after days of watching other World Cup games and hoping to kick-off a major tournament with a win for the first time since the 2006 World Cup. "If a World Cup cannot inspire a nation, then I'm not sure what can", said the English FA technical director Dan Ashworth.

Southgate was promoted from England's under-21 team to become coach of the senior side in September 2016, with the appointment widely viewed with skepticism because of his lack of managerial experience in top-level soccer.

"I do think that Harry is the only player in the England squad that at this moment in time you could guarantee could go into almost any XI in the tournament".

England's players know who will start when they face Tunisia but Fabian Delph insists those who have missed out remain in good spirits.

"The team is not guaranteed to be the 11 players that we think it might be".

'The manager has come in with the mentality to play with freedom, play without fear, and enjoy it, ' Lingard said.

"But players are aware there is that extra spotlight on them". But a chat with the player saw a greatly improved performance against the Central Americans.


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