Telegraph: Marcus Rashford to start ahead of Raheem Sterling against Panama

by Leo Nieboer

Marcus Rashford is in line to make his first World Cup start against Panama at the expense of Raheem Sterling, according to a leaked team-sheet reported by the Telegraph.

The 20-year-old, who struggled for minutes at Manchester United during the second half of last season, delivered a powerful cameo from the bench against Tunisia on Monday night.

Sterling, on the other hand, was a blunt instrument going forward down the middle, missing an open goal chance presented to him by Jesse Lingard.

And according to the Telegraph‘s Matt Law, a picture has emerged of the England starting XI for the Panama clash on Sunday being carried by assistant manager Steve Holland which shows Marcus Rashford playing the second striker role behind Harry Kane.

This is no less than what Rashford deserves having impressed in friendlies and, crucially, carried a much greater threat than anything mustered by Sterling against Tunisia.

That link between the midfield and Kane will be so important against a Panama side playing a low defensive block. Southgate has clearly taken note of how Sterling’s influence disappeared the further Tunisia went back towards their own box. He needs incisiveness, some spring, some natural ability to carry the ball through the middle and pull defenders all over the place.

And Rashford, in turn, has a chance to write his name in World Cup history.

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