Hodgson to leave his balls out for Slovakia

Date published: Monday 20th June 2016 8:09

Roy Hodgson has refused to place his balls back in his garments, with England set to make six changes when they face Slovakia.

Hodgson has been praised for defying his supposedly conservative approach in the aftermath of England’s crucial Group B victory over Wales last week.

The Three Lions came from one goal down to beat their fellow home nation 2-1, with strikers Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge, who were sent on when behind at half-time, scoring.

Reports now suggest that Hodgson will make six changes to the starting line-up that faced Wales when England take on Slovakia in their final group game.

Captain Wayne Rooney is expected to drop to the bench, replaced by Jordan Henderson, while Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand will replace full-backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose.

England still require a win against Slovakia to confirm top spot in Group B, but Hodgson will also start Sturridge, Vardy and Jack Wilshere in place of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli on Monday.

The final game in Group B heralds England’s first return to St Etienne since the last-16 tie with Argentina at the 1998 World Cup.

Glenn Hoddle’s side exited on penalties after a 2-2 draw in normal time, with David Beckham having been sent off for kicking out at Diego Simeone, and Michael Owen scoring a wonderful solo goal.

England go into the clash against Slovakia knowing that a victory would secure top spot in Group B. Their opponents in the next stage would then be one of the third-place finishers from Group A, C or D, with the game held on Saturday at 5pm in Paris. Albania, Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic currently fill those spots.

If England fail to beat Slovakia and Wales are victorious against Russia, Hodgson’s side could finish second. In that case, they would face the team that finishes second in Group F – one of Portugal, Austria, Hungary and Iceland – on Monday 27.

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