Gareth Southgate’s assistant manager Steve Holland was photographed with a piece of paper showing a potential line-up to face Panama.
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) June 21, 2018
Photographers at England’s training camp in Russia captured Holland carrying a sheet of paper that seemingly showed the starting eleven with the alternative options for each position written underneath, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The paper shows Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford ahead of Raheem Sterling up front with Harry Kane, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek was selected in place of Tottenham’s Dele Alli.
Alli missed training because of a thigh injury though, so it would be incorrect to report him as being dropped by Southgate for England’s second group game.
It’s also reported by the Daily Telegraph that Southgate had considered rotating his team for the Panama clash. Still, this is a blow as most managers prefer to keep their team selections as secret until an hour prior to kick-off.
Sterling started in England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia as the Three Lions began their 2018 World Cup campaign. The Telegraph adds that the Manchester City star was criticised for his performance and there have been concerns over how to drop the winger without affecting his confidence.
England take on Panama on Sunday at 1pm.