Manchester United

THE serious guessing game starts as to who Gareth Southgate names ahead of England’s World Cup round of 16 clash with African champions Senegal.

The Three Lions (England’s nickname) finished top of Group ‘B’ after recording a draw with the USA and two thumping wins over Iran and Wales.

For the Monday 3.00am clash, certainly all eyes will be on Manchester United ace striker Marcus Rashford, who bagged a brace in the 3-0 win over Wales to add to the goal he scored against Iran. This makes him the current World Cup’s joint-top scorer.

NO FAVOURITES

“At this knockout stage, anything can happen, there are no distinct favourites,” said Southgate. “If the match ends in a draw, it goes to mandatory penalty-kicks to decide the winner.”

Should England get over Senegal, a quarter-final date with reigning world champion France or Poland awaits.

Southgate warned: “This has been a tournament full of unexpected results, even the underdogs are making their mark with gutsy performances. I know Senegal never gives up easily and  definitely cannot be under-estimated.”

If I’ve to stick my neck out, I will go for a very close-call win for England. 

Now the ball is in your court: What’s your pick for this England-Senegal match?

* Suresh Nair is an award-winning sports journalist who is also a qualified international coach and international referee instructor.

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