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England v Panama talking points: Southgate to make changes?

| 22.06.2018

After their 2-1 victory over Tunisia, England will look to build momentum when they take on Panama.

The Three Lions impressed on Monday night, the only downside being their failure to take well-created chances.

Here are the main talking points as Harry Kane and co go again in Russia…

Southgate to make changes?

Earlier this week a photo appeared to show England’s training notes for the Panama match.

They suggested that Marcus Rashford could come in for Raheem Sterling, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Dele Alli.

Alli has missed training this week due to a thigh injury and Loftus-Cheek impressed when he came on against Tunisia.

Sterling isn’t injured, but he wasn’t at his clinical best in England’s opening match, while Rashford looked likely when he came off the bench. Equally, Southgate could be opting to rest Sterling for the Belgium game.

Kane eyes golden boot

Harry Kane’s vital two-goal haul against the Tunisians confirmed that he’s a man for major tournaments.

The England captain was excellent throughout. It’s clear too, that Southgate wants him to be a fox in the box, constantly on the move to react to the ball.

If Panama can’t contain the Tottenham Hotspur striker, another couple of goals could be in store.

Is Kane on course to become the first England player to win the Golden Boot since Gary Lineker in 1986?

Lingard and co need a goal

That said, England can’t become too reliant on their talismanic striker.

It might be working for Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal, but it isn’t happening for Lionel Messi and Argentina.

The good thing is that Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard both had goalscoring opportunities against Tunisia. Now they just need to tuck them away.

Sharing the goals will only enhance morale within the squad, and ease the pressure on Kane. Facing Panama could offer the perfect opportunity to do just that.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.