Trent Alexander-Arnold confirmed for England start against Costa Rica

Doug Mendoza
June 8, 2018

England continued their ideal World Cup preparations with a comfortable 2-0 win over Costa Rica at Elland Road.

"He plays with a lot of freedom".

Rashford had a disappointing end to United's Premier League season, and Southgate felt he may have been trying too hard.

"I said to all the team before the game, I expect to see mistakes tonight and, if I don't, there might be a problem because we wouldn't be being as attack-minded as we want to be".

"Throughout my career there have been people that I've always tried to learn from, whether it's been coaches, goalkeeping coaches, managers, or other goalkeepers", he said.

"We have got a good chance".

Costa Rica appear to have chosen as tonight's opponents due to their geographical proximity to Panama, England's second match in the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate made eight changes to the side that beat Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday and it was Marcus Rashford that put the home side ahead after 12 minutes when his stunning long-range strike fizzed past Keylor Navas.

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The Scotsman took over the role at Villa Park in August 2016, having previously held similar roles at both Everton and Aberdeen. Administration is not yet an immediate fear for the club but Villa do need to find money in the long-term.

However, it was another youngster in Rashford, 20, who caught the eye from the off.

Just 11 days before their Group G opener against Tunisia, Thursday's sold-out Elland Road friendly was the last chance for the Three Lions to fine-tune before departing for Russian Federation.

He added: "I've got an ideal, traditional view where clubs produce all homegrown players that can win trophies. He's a super exciting talent and he's different to the players we have".

However, Real Madrid's Champions League-winning goalkeeper could only watch in wonderment in the 13th minute as the ball flew in. One of the keys of us getting through these two matches was to try and make sure every member of our squad gets game time.

"History tells us that the team that starts against Tunisia will probably change as the tournament goes on".

Southgate's men bossed possession as Loftus-Cheek and Leeds academy graduate Fabian Delph impressed in midfield, with debutant Trent Alexander-Arnold holding his own as right-back.

Guedes, with nine appearances and one goal before Thursday, fired Portugal in the front in the 17th minute after William Carvalho hit a long ball over the Algeria defence and the lively Bernando Silva cushioned a header invitingly into his path.

Other reports by GizPress

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