England Boss Roy Hodgson To Gamble On Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

18-year-old speedster set to start against France.

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England manager Roy Hodgson is set to start with 18-year-old winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in his side’s opening Euro 2012 game against France.

New man Hodgson looked likely to go with workmanlike pair Steward Downing and James Milner out wide but the former Liverpool and West Brom boss, who has been in the England hot-seat for just over a month, has had a change of heart and will include Arsenal’s Chamberlain from the start at Downing’s expense.

It will be the 18-year-old’s first competitive match for England and only his second start, after he featured in the warm-up victories over Norway and Belgium.

Chamberlain will play mainly from the left against Les Bleus, as it is thought Ashley Cole is capable of dealing with France right-sider Samir Nasri, but will have licence to switch flanks with Man City’s Milner.

In the absence of suspended Wayne Rooney, England will pair Manchester United duo Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck up front with Andy Carroll and Jermain Defoe as designated impact subs.

England (probable) : Hart, Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole, Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck, Young.

France (probable) : Lloris, Debuchy, Mexes, Rami, Evra, Cabaye, Diarra, Malouda, Nasri, Ribery, Benzema.

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