Roy Hodgson named his final 23 for Euro 2016 on Tuesday, and now the pub debate has changed to what should England’s starting lineup be for their opening Group B game against Russia on June 11.
Do England’s squad numbers for the tournament offer us any clues?
What do you make of England’s 23 man squad for the Euros?
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If they are to be used as gauge, then it is good signs for Tottenham Hotspur pair Kyle Walker, who appear to have been given the nod in the full-back spots ahead of Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand.
Walker and Rose have been given the No.2 and No.3 shirts respectively – those traditionally worn by first-choice full-backs. Liverpool’s Clyne will wear the No.12 and Southampton’s Bertrand the No. 21.
The central defensive pairing also seems to have been decided, with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill England’s No.5 and Manchester United’s Chris Smalling No. 6, leaving No.16 John Stones out of the picture.
Harry Kane is England’s No.9, suggesting that he will lead the line with captain and No.10 Wayne Rooney in support of some kind. But it is in midfield where Hodgson offers no clues.
Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Jack Wilshere have all been tipped as starters, and yet are outside of the top 11 while James Milner, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana are given more prestigious squad numbers.
It is difficult to imagine that England’s midfield against Russia in Marseille will include all three of Milner, Sterling and Lallana, so perhaps Hodgson is throwing a curve ball for his opponents.
We may find out more about Hodgson’s Euro 2016 plans in tomorrow’s friendly versus Portugal.
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