England aim for World Cup quarter-finals

Trent Alexander-Arnold confirmed for England start against Costa Rica

The Red Arrows have given England a flypast to wish them good luck ahead of the World Cup. The Tottenham defender burst forward at every opportunity, helped England keep their shape and was a constant threat, particularly in the first half as the Three Lions dominated. But in this, there's a real buzz and there's a real excitement about this squad. Vardy was watched like a hawk by the Costa Rica defence and although he looked sharp enough before making way for Danny Welbeck in the 61st minute, he played second fiddle to Marcus Rashford, who was England's standout player on the night.

But while that competition may have come too soon for the young players, it was a massively important learning curve for the group, who have now been together long enough to suggest that Russian Federation may just well be where England finally shines following an impressive qualifying campaign.

"He's been there, he's done it, he's played", Young said of Southgate. England begin their campaign against Tunisia in Volgograd a week on Monday.

England embark for the Russia World Cup on Tuesday and, speaking after the 2-0 victory over Costa Rica at Elland Road on Thursday, Southgate said that his largely young and inexperienced squad - the third youngest at the tournament - were more open to ideas than older peers.

Marcus Rashford scores. Pic Alex Livesey  Getty Images
Marcus Rashford scores. Pic Alex Livesey Getty Images

Questions will also be raised regarding the defence as some are puzzled about Gary Cahill's inclusion, while Phil Jones and Stones have a penchant for clumsy mistakes in important games.

"So, clearly, getting out of the group and winning a knockout game would be a real sign of progress".

Captain Kane, though, will need to be at his goal-scoring best and must enjoy an epic tournament for England to be able to throw off their shackles as flops on the world stage.

Limited playing time at Manchester United last season has added to striker Marcus Rashford's frustration but the England global believes he will be ready to make his mark at the World Cup.

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