England’s World Cup Diary – Friday, June 15
All the low-down from Russia.
In 2002, the nation held its collective breath over David Beckham’s fractured metatarsal in the run-up to South Korea/Japan and six years later prayed for Wayne Rooney to be a good healer on the road to Germany.
Thankfully, it looks like a close-up of Marcus Rashford’s knee is not about to be splashed across the front pages as England prepare for the start of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Manchester United forward was all smiles as he was able to join in as part of a full 23-man group for Friday’s training session at the Spartak Zelenogorsk base, shrugging off what manager Gareth Southgate had described as a “slight knock” not long after touching down in St Petersburg at the start of the week.
There are, of course, likely to be a few more niggles within the squad, sparking worries back home, between now and kick-off against Tunisia in Volgograd.
But whatever side Southgate sends out at the Volgograd Arena – with Rashford expected to have to make do with a place on the bench despite his man-of-the-match performance in the final warm-up friendly against Costa Rica – you can bet England will have done their homework.
The Football Association’s secluded retreat at the forRestMix Club in Repino has been kitted out, among other things, with super-fast WiFi – which is just as well if the players need to do a bit of extra cramming ahead of kick-off.
“That’s the good thing about the internet. There’s a lot of stuff on there to go and get your research done,” goalkeeper Jordan Pickford said to ESPN FC.
Let’s hope come full-time on Monday night, no-one is posting a show reel of England bloopers.
Picture of the day
Quote of the day
Train well, eat the right food, sleep well and when the time comes, if I do start I'll be ready. Midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek on his mindset as England's World Cup opening match draws closer
Video of the day
In good spirits ✨ pic.twitter.com/ECr5tuOsHN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) June 15, 2018
What’s on tomorrow?
On Saturday, England have a closed training session at the Spartak Zelenogorsk Stadium in St Petersburg, followed by selected players appearing at the media centre in Repino at 1230BST.
Three Lions throwback