Gareth Southgate: We need to embrace the World Cup

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England boss Gareth Southgate has urged his players to embrace the World Cup as they prepare to take on Tunisia in their first game of the 2018 tournament.

The Three Lions left their training base at Repino on Sunday morning as they prepare to take on Tunisia in Volgograd.

England are the 1.44 favourites to win their first match of Group G but there is still plenty of pressure as the majority of the country expect Southgate’s troops to struggle.

England have not won their opening game of a World Cup since 2006 when they beat Paraguay and the former Middlesbrough coach insists his team have been told to enjoy the experience.

He told reporters: ”When I have been at World Cups before, whether working with the media or following the games scouting, there is a kind of carnival of football out there that sometimes as a player you don’t access and don’t feel part of.

“We have got to feel that it is a festival of football that you are fully involved in, and look to play as well as we can.

“I think having watched the Spain v Portugal game, these are the sort of games that announce the tournament is under way. The players enjoyed watching it and it brought energy to our hotel.

“I hope my own experiences are providing them with some context. I hope the messages we are giving them are developing a style of play they believe in and that they are building the strength of character to withstand some of the difficult moments we will definitely have to go through in a tournament.”

England will take confidence from watching both France and Argentina struggle and they are priced at 17.00 to go all the way this summer.

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