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Euro 2016: Roy Hodgson’s tinkering splits opinion as England prepare for Slovakia

Roy Hodgson is expected to make several changes to his starting line-up as England take on Slovakia in their final Group B game on Monday night.

Having collected four points from their opening two games of Euro 2016, England are on the verge of securing their place in the last-16 but it remains to be seen where they end up in their group.

A win would secure top spot, a draw might be enough to do so too depending on the result between Wales and Russia, while defeat to the Slovakians and a Wales win would see them drop down to third place and risk facing a much tougher opponent in the next round.

Essentially, if England had secured top spot after winning both their opening games and looked good in the process, it wouldn’t even be a point of debate as to what Hodgson decided to do with his starting line-up.

Many would even perhaps commend him for giving certain players a rest and allowing others to remain sharp, but with so much still at stake, it’s certainly somewhat of a risk to now be making changes and disrupt his side’s momentum.

Looking at specific changes also divides opinion, because on the face of it, some of them make sense while the others are arguably unnecessary.

Both Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge coming in are understandable given their impact in the Wales win, coupled with the fact that Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling are struggling.

However, suggestions that Dele Alli, Wayne Rooney, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose will all be rested too is a big risk, as it potentially upsets the balance of the team and puts them under pressure to get a result against a decent Slovakia side led by the likes of Marek Hamsik and Vladimir Weiss.

In truth, England still have enough quality on the pitch to get three points, and all the talk of rotation will be pointless on the night if they win.

Nevertheless, whether it effects the team moving forward remains to be seen, as they’ll have four rest days at the very least before their next game.

Hodgson will hope that this doesn’t come back to haunt him, especially given that the full-backs and Rooney looked impressive in the opening two games.

Having worked closely with them in training and monitored them in matches, few know the condition of the players better than the England coach. In turn, his judgement should be trusted as England look to continue their journey in France, but he’s leaving himself open to scrutiny as a result.

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