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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 9 July, 2020

England opt for a very experimental side ahead of upcoming Euro 2016 qualifier

The Three Lions have won all six of their Group E Euro 2016 qualifiers to date.

England's Jonjo Shelvey during a press conference at St George's Park.
England's Jonjo Shelvey during a press conference at St George's Park.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

JONJO SHELVEY, JAMIE Vardy and John Stones will all start in England’s 2016 European Championship qualifier away to San Marino on Saturday, manager Roy Hodgson revealed on Friday.

All three players have been in the news of late and for different reasons, with Shelvey excelling in midfield for Swansea City, Vardy fined by Leicester City after being caught on camera using a racial slur and Everton’s Stones the subject of an unsuccessful approach from Chelsea.

While Vardy made his England debut against the Republic of Ireland in June, Stones last played for the senior team in September last year and Shelvey won his sole cap in a game against San Marino three years ago.

“There are some players in the squad who have evoked a lot of interest in the press and there’s a lot of speculation about whether they’ll play,” Hodgson told a press conference in Serravalle.

“Jonjo Shelvey, who has had a brilliant start to the season, will start. As will John Stones and Jamie Vardy.”

England have won all six of their Group E games to date and a seventh victory will earn them a place at next year’s tournament in France.

Saturday’s game at the Stadio Olimpico could prove particularly memorable for visiting captain Wayne Rooney, who needs two goals to break Bobby Charlton’s England scoring record of 49 goals.

“I speak to Sir Bobby quite a lot. He’s at all our games,” said Rooney, who also trails Charlton’s Manchester United scoring record by 16 goals.

“For club and country, he’s someone who’s a hero and a legend, in what he’s done for both teams.

“He always comes in the dressing room, gives me a lot of advice, but we’ve never actually spoken about his records.

“If there’s one person he’d want to break it, I’m sure he’d prefer it if it was someone who’d been at Manchester United for a long time.”

© AFP 2015

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