England XI: Joe Hart, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Eric Dier, James Milner, Dele Alli, Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy
Roy Hodgson has gone with what seems to be a strong starting lineup some may even argue it’s the strongest possible lineup. Is this an indication of how England will setup in their first group game against Russia on Saturday June 11.
The lineup would suggest that Wayne Rooney will be deployed at the point of a diamond with Eric Dier not at Centre Back as earlier suggested but in a Defensive Midfield role with James Milner and Dele Alli ahead of him.
Many thought that with Eric Dier as the defacto 4th Centre Back he would play there tonight to give him time to acclimatise to the position again especially after the embarrassment of scoring an own goal against Australia last Friday after coming on as a substitute but it looks like Hodgson wants to get a look at his strongest starting eleven especially against opposition such as Portugal
Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy will be tasked with playing up front again. With it being a 4-4-2 we should see more from Vardy, he hasn’t quite been effective when played out wide as part of a 4-3-3 with Hodgson trying out a number of different formations in the previous two friendlies
I’m surprised Daniel Sturridge hasn’t started what with him missing the previous two warm up games due to a combination of time off and injury. Maybe Hodgson feels they need not to have to put him through his paces from the start but I would expect Sturridge to be one of many subs in this friendly as the aim will be to try and give as many players in the squad as much game time as possible.