A week that started with a last-gasp victor against Tunisia ends with a shot at reaching the knockout phase.
Gareth Southgate played down the significance of the England lineup being accidentally leaked by his assistant Steve Holland this week and insisted he does not expect journalists to be supporters of the national team.
Indeed, Lineker was extremely effusive in his praise of England after their 2-1 win over Tunisia.
But, ahead of the Panama clash, we were given another reminder that Southgate is already a world-class diplomat and ambassador for his country. In contrast, England's Premier League is viewed as one of the world's most premier divisions.
In terms of average age, Panama have one of the oldest squads in Russian Federation and they lean heavily on their experienced players.
"It really isn't something we can control".
"Tunisia liked to play the ball out from the back and they was very patient, and we pressed them high, but they got out sometimes". They also appeared to show that Raheem Sterling would make way for Marcus Rashford.
"Emails were exchanged, and Dan asked for some clarity and we were happy with the responses".More news: Senegal punishes Poland errors for 2-1 victory in World Cup
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England faces Panama at 3 p.m. (8 a.m. EDT, 1200 GMT) in Nizhny Novgorod. After a good start to the last campaign, he lost his place through injury and then struggled to regain a starting berth following the signing on Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.
"I enjoy working with all of them and I'm intrigued to find out how far they can go and how well they can play".
"If we were to give the opposition the opportunity of having our team it's a disadvantage to us", said Southgate. "I like how my team works". It's about the flow of the day to leave maximum time for physical recovery.
"It was a bit of banter, we move on and are looking forward to the game now". There is no physiological benefit to train in the heat for a couple of weeks before and thinking there will be an adaptation.
"We've got some young lads for who it's no doubt going to be just as challenging, in a different way, as it is to the senior lads who are used to playing".
Southgate says England will have "22 players available" on Sunday, with the thigh strain sustained by Dele Alli against Tunisia likely to see Ruben Loftus-Cheek come in.
England may not be world-beaters, but they should certainly have enough to see off Los Canaleros, who came through CONCACAF qualifying with a negative goal difference after winning just three of their 10 matches in the Hexagonal.