Euro 2016 qualifiers: England take on Lithuania with 100 per cent record intact
With what is likely to be a highly experimental XI England take on Lithuania in their final Euro 2016 qualifier, hoping to maintain their 100 per cent record.
The Three Lions are heavily odds-on at 2/5 to get a result on the continent, though Roy Hodgson will rest a number of players including Joe Hart, Gary Cahil, James Milner and Michael Carrick, with captain Wayne Rooney already ruled out.
“There isn’t much time for people to show what they can do,” Hodgson said.
“These are players who we think are going to be important, who we trust, and I believe we’ll still be good enough to win the game.
“I want to find out that these players are good enough to be in the squad.”
One who is guaranteed to start is goalkeeper Jack Butland, after a string of impressive displays for Stoke City, while Jonjo Shelvey and Dele Ali could also join him.
It will be interesting to see who plays in attack, with Theo Walcott and Harry Kane both featuring in the 2-0 win over Estonia last time out, with the former opening the scoring. To do so again, he is 7/2 while the Spurs man is 4/1 to net two or more.
Another who is more than likely to figure after an impressive performance last time out, which included an assist, is Ross Barkley, who is 7/2 in the anytime market; a decent price considering he nearly scored at Wembley.
On the youngster, Hodgson said: “I’m quite proud of the fact Ross Barkley is still only 21 but has been with me in the national team for over two years, often when he’s not been in the Everton team.
“At Everton he plays as a deep-lying centre-forward or a number 10. He’s capable of doing that, but we think he’s got more strings to his bow. He should regard himself as a midfield player.
“If we decide not to play him as a number 10, because we have Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott in the team, it is important we don’t just dismiss him,” he continued.
“We need to use him like we did against Estonia as one of three midfielders playing to the left of James Milner in the centre. He did that well. He’s perfectly comfortable with that. He doesn’t feel he’s limited to a position.
“The more experience he gets in both positions will suit him going forward.”
Lithuania’s main threats could well come from Deivydas Matulevicius and Lukas Spalvis with the duo 4/1 and 5/1 respectively in the anytime market.
Coral’s top tip: Barkley to score anytime @ 7/2 with Coral