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24th Jun 2018

BREAKING: Gareth Southgate makes one change for Panama clash

Injury forced the England manager's hand

Darragh Murphy

After all that leaked teamsheet nonsense, Raheem Sterling does indeed keep his place in the England team.

It had been suggested after assistant manager Steve Holland’s training notes were made public that Sterling would drop out of the starting XI for England’s second Group G game.

But the Manchester City winger has been named in Gareth Southgate’s side for this afternoon’s clash with Panama, with the only change from the dramatic victory over Tunisia coming in midfield as Dele Alli misses out due to injury.

Alli picked up a quad injury on Monday and was replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, whose performance from the bench has seen him rewarded with a starting place this weekend.

“This morning he followed the exact programme we had planned,” Southgate said of Alli yesterday.

“He started training with the rest of the group and then did some more running on his own, so he’s progressing really well.

“We’re really pleased with where he is at, but he wouldn’t be ready for the game.”

Southgate has kept the faith with the remaining 10 players who started in Volgograd, with Harry Kane leading the line after his brace in the group opener.

Jordan Pickford keeps his place in goal behind Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire while Kieran Trippier and Ashley Young continue in their wing-back roles.

Jordan Henderson starts in the heart of midfield, along with Loftus-Cheek, and Kane will be supported by Sterling and Jesse Lingard up front.