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18th Jun 2018

WATCH: England’s players call on fans to get behind them in touching video

The count down to kick-off has started

Simon Lloyd

The day has arrived

England kick off their World Cup campaign in Volgograd on Monday evening, taking on Tunisia in their first major tournament game since their embarrassing defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.

Much has changed for the Three Lions in the last two years, and while expectations of the current team are relatively low when compared to previous tournaments, there’s a sense that England fans are back behind them after the humiliation of that night in Nice.

With little over 12 hours to go before kick-off, England’s official Twitter account posted a touching video in which several of Gareth Southgate’s team speak of the importance of making their nation proud.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford opens the video, stressing how the support of England fans can’t be underestimated, a sentiment echoed by Manchester City’s Kyle Walker in the following clip.

“We need to hear you, we need to feel your presence,” Walker says. “In down moments, you’ll spur us on because there will be down moments where we need to stick together. Not just as a team but as a nation.”

“Once there’s a positive energy in the camp and a positive energy outside… we’ll see how special those little things can be for the team,” Raheem Sterling adds.

Chelsea’s Gary Cahill also speaks of his excitement at the tournament: “I’m going there with no nerves and am going there with excitement and positivity, so I’m hoping everyone else involved feels the same way.”

The video, which can be viewed below, also features messages from Ashley Young, Dele Alli, Jon Stones, Fabian Delph, Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland.

England kick off their game at 7pm. After facing Tunisia, they will also take on Panama next Sunday before closing their group with a game against a Belgium team seen by many as being one of the tournament favourites.