Southgate tells England players his secret starting team for Tunisia tie

Southgate tells England players his secret starting team for Tunisia tie

And he hopes England fully engage with the showpiece unfolding across this huge country when they attempt to secure their first win in the opening game of a major tournament since Paraguay were beaten at the World Cup in Germany in 2006.

A debate has started amongst England fans on whether Lingard or Tottenham's Dele Alli should start for the nation since they're both similar players.

"The guys who aren't in the team are prepared and have trained well".

Much has been made of the relaxed, close atmosphere among Southgate's men - in stark contrast to the recriminations that have followed numerous Three Lions' tournament exits over recent years.

Belief appears to be coursing through Gareth Southgate's group, helping the Three Lions shed the fear factor that former manager Fabio Capello said has inhibited the national team. "But from the set-up that we've done, it's pretty clear who's going to be starting". "We have a lot of down time and I'm going to think of something to help others when I get back".

But he believes they can challenge the world's best as they open their campaign against Tunisia today in Volgograd.

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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Manchester City attacker Sterling are set to be the only members of the England XI with previous World Cup experience.

Another victory would no doubt be greeted positively, paving the way for England to quickly make it out of Group G if it then beats Panama. "We've got to focus on what might be possible with this team", he said when selecting his squad. It was a big moment so I think that the first game here is really important.

"I've talked before about there being a disconnect between the supporters and the team and I've felt that there's different ways to bridge that", Southgate said.

The Football Association's secluded retreat at the forRestMix Club in Repino has been kitted out, among other things, with super-fast WiFi - which is just as well if the players need to do a bit of extra cramming ahead of kick-off.

Picture of the day Kyle Walker, Harry Kane and Danny Welbeck were in sync during training (Owen Humphreys/PA) Quote of the day Video of the day Daily social What's on tomorrow?

The midfielder also spoke about Spain at this World Cup and how they are one of the favourites for the trophy.

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