Rio Ferdinand urges Roy Hodgson to start John Stones for England

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Football News

England will get their Euro 2016 campaign underway against Russia on Saturday. 

It's unclear whether Roy Hodgson is confident of his best XI, though he did hint that the team he put out for the 1-0 win over Portugal would be the same group of players that start in Marseille. 

That would see a centre-back partnership of Chris Smalling, who scored the winner at Wembley, and Gary Cahill. 


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Stones must start

However, former England defender Rio Ferdinand has questioned the logic of that pairing, insisting Everton's John Stones should start - and not Cahill. 

" I mean no disrespect to Gary Cahill but Cahill is not going to play at the World Cup (in two years' time)", he said, as per The Daily Mail

"You could not say Cahill and Smalling are a cast-iron partnership. So play Stones.

"Someone with promise, who could go on and be a world beater - let him go on and develop the experience he needs.

"I found it took me 10 or 15 games to really feel comfortable in an England shirt and England dressing room."

Hodgson's dilemma

Hodgson is in a difficult situation when it comes to selecting his back four. Spurs pair Kyle Walker and Danny Rose are expected to start as the full-backs, but in the centre, Cahill is one of England's few experienced players. 

Following a lacklustre display against Portugal, he has also faced calls to drop Wayne Rooney, which makes Cahill's presence even more necessary. 

Ferdinand, though, who played 81 times for his country, is clearly looking ahead with one eye on the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

Stones will undoubtedly benefit from the experience of being around the England squad. Yet, unless he makes it onto the pitch, he may not learn enough to become a mature international defender within the next couple of years. 

Should John Stones start instead of Gary Cahill? Have your say in the comments. 

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
England Football
Rio Ferdinand
Gary Cahill
World Cup

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