What should be England's starting XI against Slovakia?

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England will face Slovakia in Saint-Etienne on Monday night having got their Euro 2016 campaign back on track with a dramatic late win against neighbours Wales on Thursday.

With progression to the knockout stages almost guaranteed, manager Roy Hodgson may decide to rest key players such as Kyle Walker and Dele Alli, however the Three Lions must be wary of the Slovaks. They beat Russia in their last match and have one of the tournament's best players in Napoli captain Marek Hamsik.

That said, Hodgson has a strong squad of players to choose from, and with the disappointing displays of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane thus far, there could be plenty of changes. So, what should be England's starting XI for their final group game?


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Goalkeeper - Joe Hart

Joe Hart's positioning for Gareth Bale's 35-yard free-kick was inexplicable, and his attempt to keep out the strike was even worse. The Manchester City goalkeeper is still England's number one however, and Wayne Rooney is the only squad member who has more international caps than Hart, but his mistake in Lens could bring Fraser Forster into contention.

Right-back - Kyle Walker

Walker could easily be rested, since Nathaniel Clyne is a more than adequate replacement, however the Tottenham right-back has been exceptional for England and probably their best player at the Euros so far. He has the athleticism to run up and down the right flank all day long, and with his incredible pace and acceleration, the 26-year-old is a genuine attacking outlet.

Centre-backs - Chris Smalling & John Stones

Chris Smalling, who has become a stalwart for Manchester United over the past two years, has defended very well in England's opening two matches in France. The 26-year-old centre-half has looked comfortable, both against the physical threat of Russia's Artem Dzyuba and the quicker Hal Robson-Kanu.

With Gary Cahill one yellow card away from suspension and qualification all but certain, John Stones should partner Smalling in central defence. The Everton starlet showed encouraging signs in the warm-up fixtures and, with his confidence in possession, he would allow Smalling to play as the right-sided centre-back - where he is most assured.

Left-back - Ryan Bertrand

Danny Rose, like his club teammate Walker, has excellent cover in the form of Ryan Bertrand. There is little between the two left-backs, but Monday could be the ideal opportunity to give the Southampton man his first taste of tournament football at international level.

Defensive midfield - Eric Dier

Jordan Henderson can provide excellent energy in the middle of the park, however Eric Dier will be vital in keeping the talented Hamsik quiet. The 22-year-old Spurs star has looked very solid in midfield, he had the roaming Bale in his back pocket for much of Thursday afternoon, and his presence gives the side much-needed balance.

Central midfield - Jack Wilshere

Against Wales, Hodgson went all-out for the win with incredibly attacking substitutions, however Jack Wilshere is another player who can change the course of a game and may come into the starting line-up.

Whilst Alli is undoubtedly a class act, he is only 20 and Monday's game is a great chance to bring the youngster out of the limelight and freshen things up. Wilshere loves to penetrate, find space in between the lines and is always looking for that defence-splitting pass.

When he drives forward, the Arsenal midfielder can play neat one-two's in and around the penalty area, but he also has the technical ability to pull the strings against Slovakia, alongside his skipper Rooney.

Central midfield - Wayne Rooney

In addition to Walker, Rooney has also had a significant influence on the team's style of play in their first two games at Euro 2016. England's all-time leading scorer has been classy and composed in midfield, and his exuberant celebration down the camera after Daniel Sturridge's goal was the perfect way to show Bale and others that this side doesn't lack passion and desire.

Attacking midfield - Adam Lallana

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is blessed with creativity, extremely quick feet and the ability to operate in a number of different positions. The 28-year-old is one of England's most skilful players and, on his day, he possesses the quality to unlock any defence in the competition.

Strikers - Daniel Sturridge & Jamie Vardy

Lallana has done well in both games, and could support the potentially deadly duo of Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge. Both strikers scored in the crucial victory over Wales and they looked more threatening and dangerous in 45 minutes than Kane was in 135.

Vardy is quick, direct, always on the move, he won't give Slovakia's defenders a moment's peace with his work-rate, and most importantly, the Leicester City forward is clinical in front of goal. Meanwhile, Sturridge has terrific movement as well as electric pace, and the 26-year-old oozes quality when he's on the pitch.

Flexible England attack

With this attacking trio, England could either play Lallana in behind Vardy and Sturridge, or let Thursday's match-winner drift towards the right-wing, with Lallana on the left and Vardy through the middle. Hodgson has labelled Sturridge as a "special player", and whether he is deployed upfront or slightly deeper, the striker always gets himself into goalscoring positions.

Who do YOU think should be in England's starting XI to face Slovakia? Leave YOUR starting line-ups in the comments box below!

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Wayne Rooney
Euro 2016
England Football
Kyle Walker
Daniel Sturridge
David Beckham

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