England boss Gareth Southgate has announced that forward Marcus Rashford has ‘picked up a slight knock’ just two days before the tournament. He sustained the injury in training yesterday, in what was the squad’s final session before jetting off to Russia earlier this afternoon. He will be assessed tomorrow morning.
Would he start?
As a result of the injury concern, Rashford is a doubt for England’s opening game of the tournament on Monday, but would he have started anyway?
The system Southgate has been playing in the warm up games suggests that it will be one of either Rashford or Sterling who starts alongside Harry Kane. You would think, given his outstanding goal-scoring form during the season that Sterling would be the one to start. However, Rashford may have helped his cause during last week’s friendly against Costa Rica during which he scored an outstanding long distance strike and was awarded man of the match.
It would be difficult for Southgate to overlook Raheem Sterling’s 23 goals (in all competitions) this season.
England Squad touches down in Repino
Earlier this afternoon, the England squad arrived at their base in Repino. They left St George’s park this morning, where they took a coach to Birmingham airport. They then flew to Saint Petersburg airport and took another coach to their hotel in Repino which is exclusively their own until further notice.
They will travel 959 miles to Volgograd for their first match against Tunisia, before flying back to the hotel in Repino the day after. Then, they will travel 558 miles to Nizhny Novgorod for the second match against Panama before travelling back to Saint Petersburg and then travelling to and from Kaliningrad to face Belgium in a 1032 mile round trip. Totalling all of this together, England will travel 4,066 miles before the end of the group stages.
If England get to the Round of 16 as group runners up, they will play their opponents at Spartak Stadium in Moscow, which will add a further 790 miles (each way) onto their total mileage covered. If they win the group, they will travel to Rostov which will add a whopping 1,914 miles (each way) on to their grand total.
It may be beneficial for England to come second as all of that travelling will not help the side physically.