Rashford cut to start England’s cup opener

ENGLAND wrapped up their World Cup preparations with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Costa Rica on Thursday, extending their unbeaten run to ten games, but they are unchanged at a best-priced 18-1 to get their hands on the trophy.

Marcus Rashford starred for the Three Lions, scoring a superb goal and strengthening his case to feature in England's World Cup opener against Tunisia on June 18.

Coral reacted by trimming their odds on Rashford starting against Tunisia from 7-4 to 5-4.

However, the Manchester United star faces a tough challenge trying to dislodge Harry Kane or Raheem Sterling, who are 1-33 and 1-6 with the same firm.

Gareth Southgate has made it clear he will stick with the same system, putting Rashford in competition with Kane, Sterling, Jamie Vardy and Danny Welbeck - the scorer of the second goal against Costa Rica - for two forward positions. Rashford is a 12-1 shot to be England's top scorer at the finals with Kane the 11-10 favurite and Sterling a 7-1 chance.

Danny Rose may have edged ahead of Ashley Young in the battle to play at left wingback after playing the full game against Costa Rica.

Rose is 8-13 with Coral to start the first game while Young, who played in the 2-1 win over Nigeria at Wembley, is 11-10.

The other selections issues are in central defence and centre-midfield.

Gary Cahill and Harry Maguire appear to be in competition for the left-sided position in the back three with the Chelsea man 4-5 and the Leicester defender 10-11.

Jordan Henderson captained the side against Costa Rica and is 1-2 to keep his place. However, Southgate is thought to favour just one holding midfielder and Eric Dier is a 1-10 chance.

Coral's view is very different to that of Hills, who make Henderson at 1-2 and Dier at 8-11.

Argentina's Manuel Lanzini is out of the World Cup squad after suffering a serious knee ligament injury in training.

The West Ham man had looked set for a major role after starting in their 4-0 victory over Haiti in Buenos Aires.

Iceland wrapped up their preparations for the tournament with a 2-2 draw against Ghana in Reykjavik.

The result extended Iceland's winless run to four games but there was some good news with key attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson starting a match for the first time since sustaining a knee injury in March.

Match in Focus


Ireland v N Ireland

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Ireland have two clean sheets in nine home games
Expert verdict
This will be a friendly in name only and looks set to conjure up goals in the first Irish derby since 2011. Both sides are out of form and bottom of their Nations League groups but will be motivated to perform under the lights of the Aviva Stadium. The return of Kyle Lafferty should be a big boost for the visitors.



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