Confident England Face Tunisia In Group G Opener

18 June, 2018, 23:40 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Harry Kane and Gareth Southgate

They piled on the pressure in search of a victor that didn't look like coming, until Kane guided Harry Maguire's header to the net in the 90th to get England's World Cup campaign off to a winning start. Gareth Southgate has slowly but surely built a team with a coherent plan and some semblance of identity - something the national side have been lacking for the last 10 years, if not longer.

And with group rivals Belgium swatting aside Panama earlier on Monday, England's young Lions will be acutely aware that they need to start well and lay down a marker to other teams in the tournament.

Friendly wins over Nigeria and Costa Rica in the tune up to the quadrennial showpiece did no harm to the mood. Harry Maguire was given the nod as part of England's central back three alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker, leaving experienced defender Gary Cahill on the bench. That's part of England's flawless record against African teams at the World Cup - three wins and three draws with five clean sheets.

Ashley Young and Jordan Henderson have been chosen ahead of Danny Rose and Eric Dier as England chase a flying start to the finals.


This time, Tunisia's biggest weakness is the lack of superstars who can lead it to victory.

Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli will look to prove they can play together in midfield as both have been named in England's starting line-up against Tunisia.

Tunisia will play without star Youssef Msakni, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on April 7.

Tunisia are making quite the surge in the world rankings, however I think this is one of the easier picks in the opening round of matches.

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