Sterling v Rashford: Who starts against Panama?

Sterling v Rashford: Who starts against Panama?

Who partners Kane this Sunday?

After England’s dramatic last minute win over Tunisia, it’s rumoured that Raheem Sterling will be replaced by Marcus Rashford for this Sunday’s game against Panama. Sterling was largely ineffective for the Three Lions in their narrow victory on Monday evening, so it looks as though a different approach will be taken by manager Gareth Southgate in the hope that his side can get off the mark a little quicker against the Central Americans.

23-year-old Sterling, who has enjoyed a tremendous domestic season with Manchester City, winning the Premier League and League Cup is undoubtedly one of England’s best attacking options, but it just hasn’t seemed to have clicked for him in an England shirt yet. The former Liverpool man missed a perfect opportunity to put England a goal up against Tunisia on Monday, fluffing his lines in front of a gaping net in the third minute of the game. This wouldn’t have done his confidence any favours ahead of this Sunday’s crunch fixture with group basement-dwellers Panama, and with Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford ready and willing to step into Sterling’s position at any given time these mistakes cannot be afforded.

Rashford, who has endured a fairly underwhelming campaign for Manchester United this season is one of the hottest prospects in world football. The rapid striker, who has been deployed mainly on the left-wing for United this term looked extremely sharp when he replaced Sterling against Tunisia on the 68th minute. He plays without fear for England, driving at defenders with his blistering pace, positively using possession to harm teams in that final third. That’s not to say that Sterling does not do that, because he does, better than most for his club. However for England it feels as though his confidence is at rock bottom at the moment and in games where the Three Lions have to have that ruthlessness from the outset, perhaps giving Rashford a chance in this match would be the better option.

Starting with Rashford and possibly introducing Sterling in the latter stages of the match to run at Panama’s tired defence could be the best call for this weekends clash. Rashford deserves his start following a strong 25 minute cameo on Monday and although Sterling definitely has plenty of football left in him in Russia, a rest here against the Central American minnows could do him the world of good ahead of next Thursday’s huge match against group leaders Belgium.

Odds

Raheem Sterling is 5/4 to keep his place in the England line-up, while Marcus Rashford is 7/4 to bag his first ever start at a major international tournament with bookmakers Ladbrokes If you’d like to place a bet on this click HERE.