England must be more clinical against Panama

Virginia Santiago
June 24, 2018

England can progress to the 2018 FIFA World Cup last-16 stage with a game to spare if they follow up their 2-1 win against Tunisia with another victory in the increasing hot Nizhny Novgorod.

Southgate took the opportunity in his Friday press conference to condemn the leak by the press and effectively give his side's opponents the opportunity of seeing their line-up in advance.

Reports of England's team also came out in the British media ahead of their first World Cup game against Tunisia and Southgate believes it is just something his team have to live with. I expect us to get through our group and then we will see how far we can go.

"After you've been away a while, you're a little bit sick of certain people and less so with others".

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"We need to be able to play to our full potential rather than being reactive to the opposition's strength", coach Akira Nishino said.

"I think it's huge", said Southgate.

Defender John Stones says England have done their homework on Panama and says it is clear where the biggest area for improvement needs to be.

"We want to show that an England team can play in a different way. We know that when it comes to training for games it is 110 per cent commitment but we know we can chill out and have a bit of fun". "They might want to frustrate us or make people angry, but we've got to keep our cool and keep calm".

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The notes seemed to confirm that Dele Alli would miss out through injury with Ruben Loftus-Cheek - impressive off the bench against Tunisia - in line to replace him. We've just got to accept whatever decisions are given by the referee on the field or the VAR officials.

Southgate has now officially confirmed Alli will sit the game out after informing his players of the starting XI to play Panama.

"But given that it was just a squad list, it doesn't really make any difference to us really", he added.

What England have learnt from their study of the Central American side, playing in their first World Cup, is that "Los Canaleros" will aim to play a high-paced, physical game. "I'm ready to support my team, I'm ready to come back stronger, I'm filled with motivation, I'm filled with desire to get back to the top. So, we're not going to be wildly different to that", he said. We've been watching videos of England, they've worked very hard, they're a tactical outfit, they speed up play and have an incredible one-touch style.

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