England national team: Marcus Rashford nursing ill-timed knock, Gareth Southgate confirms

England national team: Marcus Rashford nursing ill-timed knock, Gareth Southgate confirms

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.

In Volgograd on Tuesday, they will watch him reach a new peak.

John Stones and Harry Maguire are favourites to start even though the former is fourth choice at Manchester City and has barely played in 2018, while the latter is inexperienced. "The FA have spoken to us security-wise and I've got every confidence in them and with family going out there".

Rashford also attempted to allay concerns about his fitness on Twitter on Wednesday evening.

England's other group opponents are Panama and the world's third-ranked side Belgium. Ambition and adventure too. "I want to score in tournament football and that's what I will try and do".

"There was a clear shift in the identity of the team, we went to a back three and people have been warmed by that, not only the young players in this squad, but the young players in the system, the success with the junior teams".

"We are seeing a team that is enjoying each other's company, getting on well, is very proud to represent the nation". We have got to keep wanting to improve. Meanwhile, the apathy between the national team and its fans has grown.

One of the appeals is the fearlessness with which Lingard plays for United and England.

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"This is the stage you want to be on, the biggest stage in the world".

He spoke of "playing in that space between the opposition's defence and midfield" and of his admiration for Andres Iniesta.

"He was always there to chat to, as a player", Lingard said of Scholes. 'So as a group of players that is what we are going to do'.

Ashley Young has urged supporters that England understand the importance of a strong start at the 2018 World Cup this summer.

Trippier says it is simply a case of providing attacking colleagues like Kane with the necessary ammunition. "It was a down, a bad moment for us, and I'm confident it won't happen", he said.

"But a couple of them went flying into tackles and you're thinking "bloody hell", and you're just jumping out the way of things".

The last tournament in Brazil four years ago saw England start with a 2-1 defeat to Italy, Daniel Sturridge's equaliser proving in vain as Mario Balotelli scored Italy's victor, while in 2010 England drew 1-1 with the United States after goalkeeper Rob Green's costly error.

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