England’s starting XI to face Slovakia revealed

Date published: Friday 2nd September 2016 10:58

Sam Allardyce is set to keep faith with eight of the side that started England’s Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland when he names his team in Slovakia on Sunday.

Of the eleven who started the dismal 2-1 defeat in Nice, it is understood that only Chris Smalling, Dele Alli and Daniel Sturridge have been stood down by the new manager.

Joe Hart, who joined Torino on loan after slipping to third in the pecking order at Manchester City, might well have joined them but Fraser Forster’s withdrawal with an arm injury leaves him as the sole established goalkeeper.

With Smalling out of the Manchester United first XI, Allardyce has settled on a defensive pairing of Gary Cahill and John Stones, the latter back in favour having not played a minute in France.

Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is due to return in midfield alongside Eric Dier, with Adam Lallana restored in a rejigged forward line.

Allardyce had already stated his intention to use his captain, Rooney, in the same number 10 role he has been performing for Manchester United and that leaves no room for Tottenham playmaker Alli.

Rooney will become England’s record outfield cap-holder when he lines up at Trnava’s City Arena, surpassing David Beckham’s 115.

England look likely to begin with a 4-2-3-1 formation similar to United’s, with Harry Kane leading the line.

He has looked sluggish for Spurs at the start of the season, and has yet to score, but has done enough in training at St George’s Park to convince Allardyce he should keep Sturridge and Jamie Vardy on the bench.

Another Tottenham man, Danny Rose, has retained the left-back shirt despite competition from fit-again Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw.

Shaw is one of six squad members who did not travel to the Euros alongside Forster’s replacement Alex McCarthy, Phil Jagielka, Danny Drinkwater, Michail Antonio and Theo Walcott.

Likely England XI: Hart, Walker, Cahill, Stones, Rose, Dier, Henderson, Rooney (c), Sterling, Lallana, Kane.

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