It could be a ploy to puzzle Panama but has assistant manager Steve Holland accidentally leaked the England team line-up for Sunday’s group G clash?
Photographers at today’s training session in Russia captured Holland “carrying a sheet of paper that seemed to show the first XI with the reserves written underneath”, the Daily Mail reports.
The paper showed an England line-up and formation with Marcus Rashford, not Raheem Sterling, up front with Harry Kane. While Ruben Loftus-Cheek was “selected” in place of Dele Alli, who missed training because of a thigh injury.
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The Daily Telegraph reports that England head coach Gareth Southgate had considered rotating his team for the Panama clash. If the pictured line-up is correct the leak “represents a blow for Southgate who likes to keep his team selections a closely guarded secret”, says the paper.
In the 2-1 victory against Tunisia, Sterling started in a front two with Kane but was replaced during the match by Rashford.
The Telegraph says that the Manchester City star was criticised for his performance against Tunisia and there have been “concerns over how dropping Sterling might affect his confidence”.
With ten minutes to go against Tunisia, Loftus-Cheek replaced Alli. He impressed as England secured the late win thanks to Kane’s 91st-minute goal.
Sunday’s match between England and Panama takes place at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium and kicks off at 1pm.
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