England's Marcus Rashford misses World Cup training after knee injury

Lawrence Kim
June 14, 2018

"It is a World Cup - there is always going to be pressure, nerves and excitement".

That process has not been easy after the ignominy of losing against Iceland in the European Championship two years ago - a defeat that ended Roy Hodgson's reign - and Southgate has also witnessed the fans' disenchantment during his own reign, most notably in the form of mutinous chants and a mass walkout during the World Cup qualifier in Malta in September.

Gareth Southgate's men were drawn in Group G, alongside Belgium, Panama and Tunisia.

Usually the subject of intense media scrutiny, England's players have already become the brunt of jokes on social media, where the Twitterati laid into England's suits when they posed for a group photo.

The 63-year-old, who was filmed allegedly offering advice on how to "get around" FA transfer rules, has told the BBC in a documentary to air later this week that the decision to sack him was made "very hastily".

How would England fare against Spain?

"But I think there was a shift [in public opinion] in November when we brought in some of the younger players". That would possibly mean a semi-final clash with SPAIN.

England landed in Russian Federation on Tuesday hoping a talented young World Cup squad spearheaded by captain Harry Kane can shake off the disappointments of recent tournaments.

However, the Manchester United forward appears to be a doubt for England's World Cup opener with Tunisia next Monday after picking up "a knock" during a game between members of the squad at the start of this week.

If England top their group and win the second round, they'll play the winners of the game between the Group E toppers and Group F runners-up - probably Brazil. They will most likely have had to beat Switzerland in the last-16.

If England are able to find a way past the 2014 World Cup winners, Euro 2016 champions PORTUGAL would be next on the menu, if results were to go according to world rankings.

Make it this far and Southgate's side might have to beat BRAZIL in the final to get their hands on the trophy.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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