Danny Welbeck: Marcus Rashford benefiting from free role with England

Danny Welbeck: Marcus Rashford benefiting from free role with England

Gareth Southgate could not be happier with World Cup preparations thanks to the kinship and qualities displayed by England's players.

Work for Russian Federation has been as smooth as it has been impressive in recent weeks, with comfortable warm-up victories complementing fine work on the training field and increasing team spirit away from it.

The England head coach made ten changes to the team who started the game against Nigeria on Saturday, meaning he's had the opportunity to look at all his 23-man squad ahead of the World Cup.

The dismissal of Costa Rica with substitute Danny Welbeck adding the second goal meant the hosts extended their unbeaten run to 10 games, going back almost a year.

"It's more hard, no question".

Dier played the anchoring role at Wembley and Henderson will take over for Thursday's farewell friendly against Costa Rica at Elland Road, but decision time is looming for the Group G opener against Tunisia. "Not great. I don't think the expectations should be very high".

Another win might pit them against either Brazil or the holders Germany in the last eight.

Off the back of impressive seasons at club level, Kieran Trippier and Ashley Young delivered solid performances against Nigeria on Saturday, and following this Southgate chose to pass on duties to Trent Alexander-Arnold and Danny Rose. "I said to the team that I expect to see mistakes because otherwise we're not trying things, and with attacking players in particular". Sterling and Kane are unlikely to be dislodged from Southgate's first-choice team any time soon, and as such chances for Rashford may initially have to come from the bench. "I think a lot of the players are really looking to going and seeing what effect they can have". "We sometimes forget how old he is", Southgate said.


"He's still learning the game, really, which I know sounds freakish because he is now an England global, but he has so few league appearances that he is incredibly raw".

Real Madrid goalkeeper Navas was completely caught out moments later, though, as Rashford unleashed a powerful drive from 25 yards that dipped perfectly over him and into the top corner for his third worldwide goal.

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When the two sides last met, they played out a 0-0 draw in Belo Horizonte in what was a dead rubber final game in England's World Cup journey.

The squad head to Russian Federation on Tuesday, but downtime is now the order of the day.

Maguire played on the left of Stones and pressed his claims for a starting place against Tunisia with a composed, confident performance throughout the 90 minutes. "It's starting to get slightly dishevelled".

Asked if he will be able to switch off, he said: "Absolutely no chance!" To be fair, when I won the league with Leicester, it made me laugh how the pundits said we would drop off - but we just carried on. It's important they get that switch off. "Loads of support from me on that".

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