England line-up for Slovakia clash announced

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Wayne Rooney will be rested for England’s clash against Slovakia at Euro 2016.

Roy Hodgson has rung the changes, swapping six players from the team that started in Thursday’s win over Wales.

In what is a huge gamble, Rooney will start the game on the bench.


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Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy, the heroes from the Wales match, both start up front in a 4-3-3 formation.

Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson, Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand will also get their first starts of the tournament.

Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose will join Rooney on the bench.

Check out England's team

Wilshere starts

Wilshere, 24, has been restricted to 12 minutes at Euro 2016 - he came on as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Russia - but Hodgson’s decision to start the Arsenal man shows he has the knockout stages in his mind.

The England boss discussed the merits of starting Wilshere yesterday.

“He and a lot of the players haven’t played or started games, but they are all looking pretty sharp in training so I don’t have any fears for the sharpness of players,” he said, per the Daily Mail.

“Obviously, had we not needed to win this game, I don’t think there would be any discussion about making changes.

“But as it is, I have to think a lot more carefully because we have to win the game and I don’t want to be accused of not taking the game seriously enough by making changes that people don’t understand.

“All of the players are capable of coming into this team and helping us win the match, but the dilemma will be which ones I choose and to what extent I keep together a team that has taken four points out of six.”

Hamsik threat

Hodgson identified Napoli’s attacking-midfielder Marek Hamsik, who scored a stunning goal in the 2-1 win over Russia, as Slovakia’s biggest threat.

“As a team, we certainly think Slovakia are very dangerous going forward,” the 68-year-old continued. “They have got a front line and although I didn’t want to single him out, Hamsik does need singling out because he is an exceptional player.

“I think we go into this game well prepared but we also go into it knowing that we are playing an opponent who, if we aren’t careful, could cause us lots of problems. If they do and we don’t get the result we want we will have made life more difficult for ourselves.”

Victory will clinch top spot

England currently sit top of Group B on four points. Wales and Slovakia are level on three points, with Russia rooted to the bottom on one point.

Victory for the Three Lions will see them top Group B, meaning they will play the third-placed team from Group A, C or D.

However, if England finish second, they will take on the team that placed equivalently in Group F, which features Austria, Portugal, Hungary and Iceland.

In the event that England finish third, they will play either Group C’s winners - Germany, Poland or Northern Ireland - or the victors of Group D, which will be won by Spain or Croatia.

GMS prediction: England 2-0 Slovakia

What's your prediction for the game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Wayne Rooney
Jack Wilshere
Steven Gerrard
Euro 2016
England Football
John Terry

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