Dele Alli & Raheem Sterling out: Leaked notes appear to show Gareth Southgate’s starting XI against Panama
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Raheem Sterling is set to lose his place in England’s starting XI for Sunday’s World Cup clash against Panama judging by Gareth Southgate’s training-ground notes.
The Man City attacker was picked to lead the line in the Three Lions’ opening match against Tunisia but struggled to affect the game and was substituted for Marcus Rashford after just 68 minutes. And now he is expected to start Sunday’s contest on the bench, with Rashford the preferred option to partner Harry Kane as Southgate rings the changes.
During training at England’s Repino base in Russia on Thursday, Southgate’s notes were briefly visible and photographers were able to zoom in on what appeared to be his team sheet. The side was unchanged except for two key positions, up front and midfield, with Dele Alli’s thigh injury requiring a reshuffle in the middle of the pitch.
Alli’s name was marked separately in red on Southgate’s team sheet, and Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek looks set to come into the side in his place. Interestingly, rather than being in contention for one of the forward roles, as was the case against Tunisia, Sterling was listed as a possible option in Alli’s deeper role – but behind Loftus-Cheek in the pecking order.