Jason Cundy believes Gareth Southgate should drop Manchester United star Marcus Rashford for England’s crucial World Cup clash with Senegal and claims he ‘wasn’t great’ against Wales despite scoring twice.
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Rashford’s brace and a Phil Foden goal helped England beat Wales 3-0 on Tuesday night and top Group B with seven points from three games.
England now face African champions Senegal for a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Southgate faces a dilemma as he ponders sticking with the frontline that starred against Wales or making a change and bringing in the likes of Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount or Jack Grealish.
Rashford was instrumental in England’s victory over Wales but Cundy nevertheless believes he should be left out against Senegal in favour of a front three of Harry Kane, Saka and Foden.
‘Up front against Senegal I’d start Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Harry Kane. I wouldn’t start Marcus Rashford,’ he told Grosvenor Sport.
‘Who would you start him ahead of? You can’t not play Saka for how well he’s done going into the tournament for Arsenal.
‘There’s been a lot of talk about Rashford this week but I didn’t think he was great against Wales. You could have pulled him off at half-time. Yes he scored two goals but I wanted to see a performance from him as well as goals and that wasn’t the case.
‘First half I felt for him, every time he got the ball his first touch went backwards to keep possession. When he played a pass it was either misplaced or overhit.
‘He was having a bad time. First half I thought he was poor, really poor. Take his goals away and just looking at his performance against Wales, he was poor. There were question marks.
‘But he was effective when scoring a goal coming off the bench in the first game against Iran so he’s capable of doing the same against Senegal.
‘Because there’s five substitutes now, the game has changed so much that you see teams change the game from the bench. Even though the Iran game was pretty much over, Rashford had that impact off the bench.’
Senegal, the reigning AFCON champions, advanced to the World Cup knockout stages after finishing second in Group A behind Netherlands.
Revealing his prediction for the last-16 clash, former Chelsea defender Cundy added: ‘Senegal are good, they’re not brilliant, but they’re good.
‘England will have to be at their very, very best to beat them and I think they will be. England will have too much for them.
‘Senegal haven’t got Sadio Mane, imagine if he was playing. They might even have topped their group if he was.
‘I’m going for a 2-1 win for England. It’s going to be tight, but England will have too much. But I’m not underestimating Senegal at all.
‘Quality-wise England are better than them, but Senegal have physical players – quick, strong and with good quality – so it will be tight.’
Prior to beating Wales 3-0, England – who reached the semi-finals of the last World Cup – drew 0-0 with USA and thrashed Iran 6-2.
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