England v Panama: Rashford and Rose to come in?
All the big talking points
Gareth Southgate will have been very encouraged by England’s 2-1 win in their opening World Cup game against Tunisia.
The opening half an hour was as bright and exciting as England have been at a major tournament for a very long time. But they took a while to compose themselves after Tunisia got an equaliser.
England are 1/4 favourites to get another win against Panama in Nizhny Novgorod tomorrow afternoon and the Coral News Team have looked at the main issues facing Southgate’s side…
Who’ll start alongside Harry Kane?
Gareth Southgate’s 3-5-2 system seems very well suited to most of the players at his disposal. The one big exception is Raheem Sterling. He was often crowded out against Tunisia and Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli both run into the spaces he’d like to take up.
Rather than try and crowbar Sterling into the starting XI as an out-and-out striker, Southgate could give Marcus Rashford the nod.
The Manchester United forward made a big impact when he came on in the opening game. His verve and skill caused plenty of problems in his short time on the pitch. Rashford is 8/13 to score anytime against Panama.
Time for Rose to grow?
Panama are likely to try and sit deep and make life difficult for England. The Three Lions will need to play with width to try and open their opponents up.
That’s why it could make sense for Danny Rose to start ahead of Ashley Young in the left wing-back spot.
Young is vastly experienced and one of the few recognised set-piece takers in the squad, but his natural tendency is to cut inside on his stronger right foot.
That wastes valuable time and narrows the play. Rose can whip in first-time crosses with his left foot or get to the byline for a cutback.
Will anyone else get the goals?
England are blessed with one of the best strikers in the world in Harry Kane. But there’s a danger they’re becoming too reliant on the Tottenham Hotspur star to score the goals.
Sterling, Lingard and Alli have all struggled to replicate their goalscoring form at club level for the national team.
If England are going to go all the way, the rest of the team will need to chip in with their fair share of goals.
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