Ashley Young Set for Starting Berth as Gareth Southgate Finalises England XI to Face Tunisia

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Ashley Young is set to start at left wing-back for England in their opening match of the World Cup against Tunisia, despite good performances from Danny Rose in the warm-up matches.

Rose is the more recognised full-back but England employ wing backs and Young’s pace down the flanks is a weapon that Gareth Southgate is keen to utilise against a weak Tunisian side.

The Daily Mail also reports that Kieran Trippier will make his first appearance at a major tournament, as he will be given the nod over Trent Alexander-Arnold at right back.

Jordan Henderson is set to start instead of Eric Dier in the centre of midfield, where he will play alongside Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard and Tottenham star Dele Alli.

Jordan Pickford is likely to be named in goal – as was expected after he was handed the number 1 jersey.

If Southgate names the team that he is expected to, nine of the starting XI will be making their World Cup debuts. Henderson and Raheem Sterling are the only ones who were part of the squad in Brazil four years ago.

In a rousing speech before training at England’s Repino base, Southgate urged his players not to be intimidated by the prospect of playing at the World Cup. He stressed that they should remain committed to the attacking principles exemplified in recent friendlies.

The inclusion of 32-year-old Young seems an unusual choice in an otherwise youthful team, but Southgate is reluctant to put Rose into the energy-sapping conditions of Volgograd after an injury-hit season for Spurs.

Marcus Rashford missed training again due to a knock but Southgate is confident that he will be available for Monday’s match.

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