Wayne Rooney will lead England against Russia in Marseille.

Roy Hodgson has belief in young and talented England side

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Roy Hodgson has backed his young and talented England squad to flourish at Euro 2016 as they prepare to face Russia in Marseille.

Nine months after qualification was sealed and 24 days after preparations began, England begin their Group B campaign against Leonid Slutsky's men at the Stade Velodrome.

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The match follows two nights of violence in Marseille involving England fans, with some supporters throwing missiles from a roadside brasserie on Friday evening.

Footage showed a group of fans shouting "have it" as they hurled objects into the street from the Red Eagle, while earlier officers used tear gas in an effort to disperse the trouble-makers.

The skirmishes continued as night fell and were reminiscent of the dark days of hooliganism - trouble Hodgson was uncomfortable talking about at the pre-match press conference.

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The England manager said he hoped supporters could "avoid any troubles lurking around the corner" and was focused on the football, expressing his confidence in the side he believes can start off with a victory against Russia.

Hodgson's starting line-up for their opening match will be disclosed to the players this morning, and Hodgson said he was "happy" with the team he had chosen.

"It is not something that has suddenly been sprung upon us over the last few days, it is something which has been emerging certainly over the last six months," he said.

"It hasn't emerged over the last four years or even over two years but certainly over the last six months the team that I'll pick (today) and the team I might pick in future games, they've been emerging and I feel very comfortable now I know what those players can do on the field and what they can do together."

There may be comfort and confidence in the side, but Hodgson knows there are always aspects of the game to improve at international level.

Recent wins over hosts France, world champions Germany and Portugal, ranked eighth in the world, show England can threaten the best.

"We know these players can play football," Hodgson said of his squad.

"We see it at their clubs.

"My fear as a coach would be that the players take anxiety on to the field, that they're weighed down when they go out and play and don't play as well as they like, imagining the headlines.

"We try to encourage them to believe in themselves, go out and play the football we've been trying to play, and we'll see what it brings.

"We hope it brings some good moments and the people back home like what they see."

Wayne Rooney will be key to retaining focus before and during the match against Russia, with Hodgson confirming his place in the starting line-up at the same time as underlining his importance.

"I want him to be the captain of the team, I want him to bring his experience, of course," he said.

"I want him to bring his obvious passion, enthusiasm and desire to do well. I don't honestly believe there are any players out there that need to be dragged along.

"I think they're all on the same boat but what Wayne has to say and what Wayne can do as an example is because he has got 111 caps and 52 goals."

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