Southgate tells England players his secret starting team for Tunisia tie


"I don't think it'll leak out - you tried but I never leaked it", the Yorkshireman said with a chuckle.

Briefly a key man for the Three Lions during his Aston Villa days under Roy Hodgson, injuries and a lack of first-team opportunities at Manchester City left Delph on the outside looking in at global level.

Marcus Rashford was a notable absentee from England's World Cup training session for the second successive day after sustaining a "minor knee injury", just four days out from the Three Lions' opening game against Tunisia.

"As long as your mindset is clear, you know what you need to do, you understand the game plan and what your role is, you're pretty clear in what you need to do".

"We will of course advise them where chickens can be taken", said a Russian official. "They've got fantastic players, a fantastic team and that's what makes the World Cup exciting to watch".

Gareth Southgate says England are ready to carry "the dreams of a nation" as they prepare to start their World Cup adventure. "Which probably tells you something about my ability as a player!"

Breaking down such teams has always been a frustration for England - but there is reason to think Southgate may have found the formation and personnel to do so.

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"My family are incredibly patriotic".

While this has the whiff of a banana skin about it, England should look back to how Southgate's '98 side comfortably brushed past Tunisia, winning 2-0.

"I have said from the off I wasn't comfortable with the manner in which I took the reins, but I have enjoyed the responsibility". He is meticulous and considered, he wants to be the best he can be and believes he can be one of the best in the world.

The Volgograd Arena stands on one of the major battlefields of the war - two million people died in the battle named after the city's former title of Stalingrad.

"Everybody knows this is a team that is progressing and improving but we're not the finished article".

"He had faith in me to play me against Malta for my debut and I can only thank him for that and ever since then I have kicked on and done well". I'm excited watching them. The expectation is that England's final group match against Belgium will be the main event and determine which side comes out on top.

"But our focus has to be on the things we can control and getting better every day we work together and tomorrow transferring what we do the training pitch into the game".