England team news: One change as Sterling keeps place ahead of Rashford for Panama clash

It required a stoppage-time winner from Harry Kane, but England are up and running with a victory at the 2018 World Cup.

Despite some good football at times against Tunisia there remains plenty for Gareth Southgate’s side to work on as they continue to plot a route through the tournament.

Next up is a trip to Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday to take on tournament debutants Panama who lost out 3-0 to Belgium in their inaugural fixture on this stage. After banking three points in Volgrograd, Southgate makes just the one change for the Group G encounter.

And after a set of training notes were leaked via an eagle-eyed photographer at the Three Lions training ground in Repino, it looked as if there would be two alterations from the side which started on Monday. However, subsequent developments suggest that only one chance will be made.

Jordan Pickford will continue in goal for the Three Lions, with Southgate keen to utilise his excellent distribution as an attacking weapon throughout the tournament.

England will start with a three-man defence, with Manchester City’s  John Stones at the heart of the trio. The ex-Everton centre-back has been a regular under Southgate despite falling down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium, as his ability on the ball sets him apart from his compatriots in the same position.

To Stones’ right will be club-mate  Kyle Walker,  who is set to retain his place despite conceding the penalty from which Tunisia equalised during the first half in Volgograd.

On the left  Harry Maguire looks set to again beat out Gary Cahill to a starting spot, with Southgate opting for the Leicester City man as he expects his side to enjoy plenty of possession on Sunday afternoon.

Kieran Trippier – who impressed with his passing and set-piece delivery against Tunisia – will start as right wing-back in Southgate’s 3-5-2 system, with  Ashley Young again being preferred to Danny Rose on the left despite being naturally right-footed.

england panama

Jordan Henderson  was at the fulcrum of a lot of England’s best passing moves in their opening match and will again keep his place ahead of Eric Dier at the heart of the England midfield.

Jesse Lingard, too, will start despite missing twice from close-range as England failed to back-up Harry Kane with any kind of sure-footednes in front of goal.

Dele Alli is set to miss out despite the thigh injury he picked up against Tunisia not being serious, with  Ruben Loftus-Cheek  set to be handed the opportunity to build on an eye-catching performance off the bench against Tunisia.

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Raheem Sterling is set to keep his place in the starting line-up, with Southgate preferring the Manchester City forward to Marcus Rashford in a supporting role for captain Harry Kane .

England XI: Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Stones; Trippier, Loftus-Cheek, Henderson, Lingard, Young; Sterling, Kane.

Panama XI: Penedo 2Murillo 5R Torres 4Escobar 15Davis 6Gómez 8Bárcenas 11Cooper 20Godoy 21JL Rodriguez 7Pérez

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