Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Trent Alexander-Arnold confirmed for England start against Costa Rica

Rodney Wallace is looking forward to his first World Cup with Costa Rica Rodney Wallace is looking forward to his first World Cup with Costa Rica
Sidney Guerrero | 09 June, 2018, 09:33

It looked like another plodding friendly between England and Costa Rica as the Three Lions get their final outing before heading off to Russian Federation.

At the other end, Jack Butland was handed a final chance to impress and try and oust Jordan Pickford as Southgate's first-choice goalkeeper.

Henderson, meanwhile, told media on Friday he was happy to play in a more advanced role, if that's what Southgate wished.

England start their World Cup Group G campaign in Russian Federation against Tunisia on June 18 and they will head into that fixture in Volgograd in good spirits after two friendly wins. BBC say 4%, but should it be higher?

Substitute Welbeck made certain of the win 14 minutes from time, though, diving to head home Dele Alli's cross, as England earned a vociferous send-off from the Leeds crowd before their opening match in Russian Federation against Tunisia on June 18.

And for the first time since May 2016, an England home game had an atmosphere! 2014 of course saw the Three Lions eliminated in the group stage, but this year promises a lot more - particularly as England's group looks substantially weaker than it did in Brazil.

LeBron James could take Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers - Stein
For the Rockets to get James, they would have to get very creative with some trades to unload players for cap space. Paul, meanwhile, will be an unrestricted free agent following his first season with the Houston Rockets.

The Leicester striker netted 20 goals last season but he may be short of chances with Harry Kane certain to start as centre forward and Raheem Sterling preferred as his foil. Rashford's dipping drive at 13 minutes was the highlight of an all-round satisfactory evening for the hosts as they extended their unbeaten run to 10 games, stretching back almost a year.

Danny Welbeck headed in the second goal to seal the victory after manager Gareth Southgate rested a host of players including captain Harry Kane.

And given England's World Cup routes, whether winning or coming second in group G sees them likely to face either Brazil or Germany in the quarter-finals (should they get that far and both teams win their groups as expected) this will be something Southgate needs to work on in the final days before they travel to Russian Federation.

His value will come later in the tournament as England face up against the bigger teams, should they get that far, looking to exploit on the counter with the Three Lions' backs against the wall.

He picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and unleashed an unstoppable, angled drive which left serial Champions League victor Navas flapping at thin air. Portugal begin their World Cup campaign in Sochi against Spain on June 15. "It's good practice for what we need in the tournament".

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