World Cup 2018: England training notes 'no advantage' for Panama

Hernan Dario Gomez
Hernan Dario Gomez led Colombia to the 1998 World Cup and managed Ecuador at the 2002 tournament
England v Panama
Date: Sunday, 24 June Time: 13:00 BST Venue: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
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Panama manager Hernan Dario Gomez says England's leaked training notes will not give his side an advantage in Sunday's World Cup Group G match in Nizhny Novgorod.

England boss Gareth Southgate questioned the English media for publishing pictures hinting that Marcus Rashford would replace Raheem Sterling as captain Harry Kane's strike partner.

"If one doesn't play the other is just as good," said Gomez, who confirmed he would pick the same starting XI who lost their opener 3-0 to Belgium.

"It doesn't give me or afford me any advantage."

As well as possibly changing one of his forwards, Southgate is likely to have to alter his midfield from the one to start England's 2-1 victory over Tunisia.

Dele Alli has returned to training after picking up a thigh injury in Monday's opening game in Volgograd, but is set to miss the 13:00 BST kick-off on Sunday.

Training notes pictured in the hand of assistant coach Steve Holland indicated Ruben Loftus-Cheek would replace Alli, but Gomez said it had made no difference to his plans.

"The line-up will be exactly the same. I liked how my team worked [against Belgium]," said the 62-year-old Colombian, who is managing at a third World Cup.

"The team that starts the match is the one with the most experience, that's one of our assets. As a starting XI we are very organised and tactical."

Gomez said England will be "a tough nut to crack" but insisted Panama - who are playing at their first World Cup - can still progress to the knockout rounds.

"England are going to be our hardest match by far," he added.

"They don't have a lot of individual stars like Belgium and [Eden] Hazard, but they work well as a team, especially on ball recovery.

"We could lose 3-0 again, or even worse - but mathematically we still have the possibility to progress.

"I told my players today that they can still qualify."

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Highlights: Belgium 3-0 Panama

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