England’s Euro 2016 campaign gets real on Monday night as Roy Hodgson’s men tackle over-performing minnows Iceland in the last 16.
The match will be held in Nice, but the niceties of the group stage are over. Now is the time for the Three Lions to sharpen their claws and bare their teeth.
Hodgson made six changes for England’s final group game, which ended up being a dismal 0-0 draw with Slovakia.
The majority of the players who were drafted in for that match will now return to the bench, according to The Times, who predict that Hodgson will pretty much revert to the same lineup he used against Russia and Wales.
Just one change from those games – meaning five from the Slovakia clash – is anticipated by the broadsheet newspaper, with Daniel Sturridge set to feature in a three-man attack alongside Adam Lallana and Harry Kane, while Raheem Sterling drops out.
That would mean that, despite impressing against Slovakia, Liverpool duo Jordan Henderson and Nathaniel Clyne will be slumming it with the subs again, allowing Tottenham Hotspur’s Kyle Walker and Dele Alli to return.
Meanwhile, fellow Spurs man Danny Rose is tipped to take over from Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand at left-back, as Kane comes in for Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy.
Finally, Wayne Rooney should once again captain the side from kick off, taking the armband off Chelsea defender Gary Cahill and demoting Jack Wilshere to the sidelines after the Arsenal star flopped last time out.
Lallana took a knock to his ankle in training this week, but The Times are confident he will be fit to start against the side who finished above Portugal in Group F.
Below is the England XI v Iceland, as predicted by The Times.
Joe Hart, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Eric Dier, Wayne Rooney, Dele Alli, Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge, Harry Kane.
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