Preparation for the 2018 World Cup is well underway with international friendlies kicking off pretty much every day we check, but we’re only interested if the games in question involve Manchester United players or targets.
Like yesterday, we’ve only one game catching our eye tonight as England take on Costa Rica.
Kick-off is at 8pm and the game is live on ITV 1.
England impressed in the first half of their previous warm-up fixture against a terrible Nigeria side (even their shirt looked awful on television despite being touted as the best World Cup shirt on the market this summer), winning the game 2-1 at full-time.
Gary Cahill and Harry Kane got their names on the scoresheet, with both Jesse Lingard and Ashley Young starting for the Three Lions. It remains to be seen whether Gareth Southgate will stick with that starting line-up for England’s World Cup opener against Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday, 18 June.
However, there was no place for Marcus Rashford in Southgate’s starting eleven, although that could change against Costa Rica with England’s manager potentially looking to mix things up before the competitive games begin.
There’s no hiding Rashford had a difficult end to the season, with some questioning his development under manager Jose Mourinho, but this tournament could set his career alight and put much of the criticism aimed his way to bed.
Phil Jones missed the win over Nigeria because his partner was due to go into labour, but the centre-back has been pictured in recent photos of England training, so we’ll presume he’ll be in the matchday squad.
— England (@England) 6 June 2018
Jones controversially got the nod over Chris Smalling for Southgate’s World Cup squad. Only time will tell if that was the right decision or not.
Moreover, these two sides have only met on one previous occasion in competitive action, and that came four years ago at the World Cup in Brazil. It ended in a scoreless draw.
That would, however, seem unlikely given the form of the two sides. England, unbeaten in their last nine games, will look to give their fans the best possible send off before jetting off to Russia.
Hopefully Rashford starts and makes a positive impact on the game.