England's Phil Jones says squad can not wait for opening World Cup game

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Southgate's squad trained for the final time at their Repino base on Sunday morning, before travelling to Volgograd to complete their preparations.

The eyes of the nation will be focused on the Volgograd Arena when Southgate's exciting young side take to the field in their first major tournament match since the humiliating Euro 2016 exit to Iceland.

Previous meetings: The teams have played each other once before - England beat Tunisia 2-0 in the group stage of the 1998 World Cup.

"For me, at the end of the season, he cares so much you can see he was trying too hard", Southgate said after the win at Elland Road. I think he was away at an England camp and he had to fly back to see the birth of his child. "They're probably one of the favourites, but we didn't expect anything less from Spain".

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The cost and associated concerns over travelling to Russian Federation means the Three Lions would do that in front of a far smaller "dyed-in-the-wool" following than they are used to, but Southgate is confident of giving those in Russian Federation and at home something to shout about.

England opens their World Cup against Tunisia today as a bit of an unknown.

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He said: "I hope my own experiences are providing them with some context".

Asked if he was prepared to miss a game if it came to it, Delph said: "Yeah, absolutely".

"My family are incredibly patriotic". Southgate, though, seems determined to erase the fatalism that has come to define England in a 52-year wait for success at major global tournaments.

Southgate tried to lift the pressure off his squad after several former players have commented recently that the expectations of past tournaments stopped them from performing at their best level.

"So, although it's important Harry is a big player for us, we have to be about the collective".

Southgate feels that the strong bonds, tightness in the group and the way in which they showed their mettle and kept going to the end of games in qualifying augurs well for their time in the World Cup spotlight. I'm excited watching them.

He is unlikely to start against Tunisia, though, with manager Gareth Southgate reported to have chosen his XI on Thursday, with a reports from the Daily Mail explaining all 11 expected starters were handed bibs during a training session that was closed to the media.