Stuart Pearce predicts Sam Allardyce’s first England XI

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Sam Allardyce is the new England manager and the Football Association have confirmed that his first match in charge of the Three Lions will be the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on September 4.

The experienced English coach has described his new job as the “greatest challenge” of his career - and while fans are split over his appointment, most agree he deserves his big opportunity following years of impressive work in the Premier League.

But how will England line up in Allardyce’s first match?


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Everything is uncertain at this moment in time; the 61-year-old couldn’t even guarantee that Wayne Rooney will still be the national team’s captain under his management.

But Stuart Pearce, who took charge of England for one match in 2012, has predicted Allardyce’s first XI - and raised some eyebrows in the process.

Pearce's predicted England XI under Allardyce

Pearce has gone for Joe Hart in goal - despite his dismal performances at this summer’s European Championships - behind a back-four comprised of Kyle Walker, John Stones, John Terry(?!) and Danny Rose.

In central midfield he’s gone for Eric Dier and Rooney, whose new club manager Jose Mourinho has made it perfectly clear he believes the England captain is most dangerous either as a striker of an advanced playmaker.

Ahead of them, Pearce reckons Allardyce will play Dele Alli behind his Tottenham teammate Harry Kane, flanked by Danny Welbeck and Andros Townsend.

Fans react on Twitter

Here’s how fans on Twitter have reacted to Pearce’s predicted XI…

Allardyce on the system he could deploy

On the potential system he might deploy, Allardyce was quoted by BBC Sport as telling reporters: "I think choosing styles of systems depends on the players available and who we are playing. My coaching technique is to try to give players the opportunity to win football matches, home or away, and make them aware of the opposition.

"I think the bonding of the team is exceptionally important and trying to create that team spirit and have some fun. I have enjoyed my life in the game, this job is the pinnacle and I want to enjoy this the most.

"My style of play has always been a tag for me that I can't shake off but I played with Jermain Defoe down the middle on his own last year so it cannot be really associated with me after that.

"Working on people's strengths is the main factor. People said Defoe cannot play up front on his own but that is what he did all last season and scored 18 goals."

What will Sam Allardyce’s England XI look like? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Wayne Rooney
England Football
Premier League
Daniel Sturridge
Joe Hart
Sam Allardyce

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