England assistant manager Steve Holland was seen clutching training notes on Thursday
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England assistant manager Steve Holland may have dropped a hint as to England’s starting line-up for their second World Cup game against Panama on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate’s number two was seen holding training notes at a session in Repino.

They indicated that striker Marcus Rashford could be in line to start alongside captain Harry Kane.

Raheem Sterling may be dropped to the bench while Ruben Loftus-Cheek could replace the injured Dele Alli.

The notes appear to show Alli listed separately from the other 22 squad members under ‘medical’.

The Tottenham player suffered a thigh injury during England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.

England players don’t know who’s playing – Alexander-Arnold

“We just focus on what comes out of the manager’s mouth,” said defender Trent Alexander-Arnold.

“We haven’t been directly told who’s starting and who’s not, so all positions are up for grabs.

“Until the manager names the team it doesn’t matter what’s leaked because the lads don’t pay any notice to that kind of thing.”

Holland was appointed assistant manager to then-Under 21 manager Southgate in 2013, before they both moved up to the senior team in 2016.

England play Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday, with the match live on BBC One from 12:10 BST.

‘Changes appear entirely logical’ – analysis

Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer

England will feel an element of embarrassment that assistant manager Holland appears to have revealed the team to face Panama.

It will not last too long, however, as the changes that manager Gareth Southgate may or may not be making appear, on first glance, to be entirely logical.

The major debate will centre around the potential exclusion of Raheem Sterling, who drew a blank in the opening win against Tunisia and has now gone 21 England games without a goal.

Panama may have been an opportunity to break that duck but it seems Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford will get the chance to take advantage.

Southgate is a huge admirer of Sterling but Rashford may be able to make life interesting for him with a good performance against Panama.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was the other name on Holland’s list as a replacement for the injured Dele Alli, who is still receiving treatment for a thigh injury.

Loftus-Cheek was highly impressive in a cameo as a substitute against Tunisia and fully deserves his opportunity if Holland’s team-sheet proves correct.


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