Knee complaint sidelines Marcus Rashford for England’s first training in Russia

Jordan Henderson: 'I hope I've done enough to earn a World Cup starting spot'

Preparations for next Monday's Group G opener against Tunisia could scarcely have gone any better up until now, with the initial 23-man selection remaining intact after beating Nigeria and Costa Rica.

"The aim is to be aggressive and fearless".

I'm from a generation that recalls two summers in the 1970s when in the face of the failure of the England football team, they failed to qualify for the World Cup finals - not once but twice - we ended up supporting Scotland in the days when it was widely acceptable to cross the footballing divide. "They should say there needs to be a strapline around this tournament now that says: 'We have a great pool of talent coming through but this tournament may be a bit early in terms of the development of this England squad".

The United States will send more visiting supporters to the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation than any other nation, despite the failure of the national team to qualify for the tournament.

Kane further revealed that England, who are famous for their bad record in shootouts, would look to play the attacking game and focus more on scoring.

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is also thrilled to be at his first World Cup.

Whoever is picked will start alongside captain and Tottenham front-man Harry Kane, with Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard among the other final-third options who are vying for starting spots. "We want to take this tournament head on", Kane told a news conference. Sometimes going into a big tournament is about not losing and being passive but, for us, it's about playing attacking football. That's part of the game.

The close season break represents a time of real distress for ardent football supporters, so it's fair to say that the commencement of the 2018 World Cup is massively overdue.

"Thanks for the messages I've been getting", Rashford posted on Twitter. "It's the one competition everybody dreams of winning", he said.

Southgate confirmed there were no major injury concerns, but would assess Manchester United forward Rashford ahead of the first scheduled open training session on Wednesday.

Southgate led England to the top of their World Cup qualifying group unbeaten and Allardyce gave his successor his full support.

"Obviously I understand you've got the Champions League and Premier League - so many big competitions - but, for me, I don't think it gets much bigger than the World Cup".

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