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England vs Portugal – Match Preview

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Tonight sees the final warm up game for England as their preparations for Euro 2016 come to a close. After a mini tour of the country they return to their spiritual home of Wembley to take on Portugal

After the final 23 was named on Tuesday, this will be the one and only opportunity for players to make their mark and bid to be named in Roy Hodgson’s starting Eleven for their first group game against Russia next Saturday

With Daniel Sturridge being passed fit enough to be a member of the 23, you would have to imagine he starts tonight due to the fact that he has missed both of the previous post season friendlies

Could Eric Dier be given more time at Centre Back to get him reaccustomed with the position after spending all season in Defensive Midfield

He came on as a substitute in England’s win over Australia but he also had the embarrassment of putting through his own net with one of his first touches, so an incident free game tonight would no doubt do Dier and England the world of goo d

Dier’s Footballing education was in Portugal after spending time on the books at Sporting Lisbon so this game will certainly take on extra interest for the Tottenham Midfielder

Although if Dier does start he will go up against a Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal. After his Champions League winning exploits he has been given extra time off by coach Fernando Santos

Last time out they beat Norway on Sunday less than 24 hours after Ronaldo was slotting home the win in Penalty against cross city rivals Atletico

Fernando Santos will hope for more of the same, while Roy Hodgson will hope it’s a perfect 3 from 3 in terms of warm up victories. The only slight danger that would bring would be a wave of optimism from the English public and we know what has happened many times before

That’s not to say that England shouldn’t be optimistic but it should be tempered with some caution also. Roy Hodgson will be quietly confident of a decent tournament but will be careful to create too much hype

The game tonight will be more about testing out formations and systems for the final time before the tournament proper so expect lots of changes in shape and personnel

That could very well stunt the flow of the game as is often the case with friendlies. I think England will just edge this, meaning England expects but let’s be careful not to expect too much.

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