"They've got some good players and it will be a tough and physical game where they'll try and upset England as much as possible".
England's next Group G game is against Panama on Sunday.
Southgate has huge faith in Sterling, the manager greeting him with a warm embrace after his disappointing night against Tunisia, and firmly believes he will deliver for England.
Jesse Lingard, too, will start despite missing twice from close-range as England failed to back-up Harry Kane with any kind of sure-footednes in front of goal.
Raheem Sterling's absence from England's team may only be temporary if the side revealed on assistant manager Steve Holland's team-sheet is correct - but Marcus Rashford has the chance to turn up the pressure as he prepares to get his opportunity against Panama.
"We haven't been directly told who's starting and who's not starting", defender Trent Alexander-Arnold told reporters. They just want to pull you down.
A free press exists to be NOT biased in any way, so for Southgate to command the opposite from the journalists around his team is quite weird to say the least. They want to be playing darts and bowling with the lads and getting on and having banter with them but as soon as there is problem they will jump on you and hammer you.
Brazil vs Costa Rica
These tears are from happiness, overcoming obstacles, I guess, from grit and will to win. Neymar's relief was clear as he fell to his knees and cried into his hands.
This would be the second time that the line-up has been leaked well in advance.
According to Southgate, the players were both surprised and amused by his random injury and all asked the same question: What on earth happened? "We haven't been directly told who is starting and who isn't".
"I might not be celebrating any goals as athletically in future", joked Southgate, in a statement from the Football Association after being treated in hospital near England's training base in Repino, 45 kilometres north-west of Saint Petersburg.
We predict things might get more tetchy as the tournament progresses.
It showed that the side are preparing to play in 3-5-2 formation against Panama, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield following Dele Alli's slight thigh strain - a player whose name was spelt "Ali" on the sheet in the medical section.
There was no sign of the black sling he had been pictured wearing on Wednesday and Southgate led the session as normal, flanked by Holland.
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