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Martin Skrtel plays England on Monday..

Martin Skrtel prepared to kick Daniel Sturridge in England battle

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Martin Skrtel and Daniel Sturridge have spent enough time at Liverpool to get acquainted with one another so both will fancy their chances when England play Slovakia on Monday night.

The Three Lions need a win to ensure they top Group B while Slovakia need at least a point to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds. Needless to say, there is plenty at stake in this Euro 2016 clash.

And that is perhaps why Skrtel readily admits he is prepared to get physical with Sturridge, who he pointed out as the most dangerous man in Roy Hodgson's line-up. Indeed, the Slovakian centre-back even said he was prepared to "kick" his Liverpool team-mate if it helped his country to what would be a famous three points.

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The 31-year-old said: “We can be friends before and after the game. On the pitch, there are no friends. If you asked Daniel he'd answer the same. We try and do the best for the team. If that means having to kick him, then yes. Of course.

“We know each other well, but it's very difficult to predict a situation in a game. Every single game is different. We have to be ready for them, for him, and to try and eliminate their strengths and work on our own to be a success."

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Team game

Sturridge looks set to start for the first time at Euro 2016 after making a definitive impact after emerging from the bench against Wales. The 26-year-old impressed throughout the second half after replacing Harry Kane and scored a last-minute winner.

That is likely to be one of six changes with Roy Hodgson reportedly set to rest a number of his key players while also replacing ones who have not impressed. But despite the prospect of facing England's second string, Skrtel is under no illusions and is well aware of their strength in depth.

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He continued: “It's not only about Daniel Sturridge. It's about other strikers, too. We have to be ready as a team.

"It's 11 vs 11 on the pitch, and we have to try and be better than them"

“We're not looking at personalities, but their strengths as a team. It doesn't matter if it's Sturridge, Kane or [Jamie] Vardy. We have to control them all and be better than them.

“It will be a very special game because I've been playing in England for a long time. Obviously, before the match I just have to focus on my performance.

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“Everyone knows about England's qualities and strengths, which they proved in qualifying and in the first two matches. We know what to expect, and we are well prepared. I believe we can do well."

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Topics:
Martin Skrtel
Euro 2016
England Football
Football
Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge

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