Sports

Jun 012016
 
Marcus Rashford scored after 138 seconds of his debut against Australia on 27 May 2016

Manager Roy Hodgson says his final 23-man England squad for the European Championships is based on attack.

And that is why he chose Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford ahead of Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater.

Hodgson, speaking before Thursday’s final friendly against Portugal at Wembley, said his selection was “tilted towards an offensive approach”.

He added: “It became a question of do I take the extra attacker or midfielder? That’s how Rashford came about.”

Hodgson’s side begin their Group B campaign in France against Russia on 11 June, before meeting Wales on 16 June and Slovakia on 20 June.

Eighteen-year-old Rashford’s rapid rise into the England squad, scoring on his debut against Australia last week, was described as “incredible for his age” by captain Wayne Rooney.

And Hodgson added: “Rashford’s had that fantastic end to the season and it will be very interesting to see in a squad of 23 whether he can bring those qualities at a higher level.”

Hodgson, 68, has been criticised for picking just three recognised central defenders but he is confident England will be solid in defence.

“We believe defending is very much a team job and we can’t just rely on a back four and a goalkeeper,” he said.

“We need great mobility and great running power to defend in that way. With this squad they’ve got the ability to give us that.

“Often in a tournament the players that get injured or suffer a lack of form are the guys at the cutting edge, the guys who make the difference or score the goals.”

He added he was happy he had so many good players to put on the field.

“Systems win you nothing and football players win you games,” he said. “If they perform anything like they’re capable of we’ll be a tough team to beat.”

Wayne Rooney, 52 goals in 110 England appearances, will start against Portugal at Wembley on Thursday

Who do you think should start at Euro 2016? Step into Roy Hodgson’s shoes and pick your XI – and then share it with your friends using our brand new team selector.

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Jun 012016
 

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Euro 2016: Match of the Day Highlights

Mark Chapman introduces the concluding matches in Group C and Group D, featuring Northern Ireland v Germany at the Parc des Princes in Paris,

Ukraine v Poland at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, Croatia v Spain at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux and Czech Republic v Turkey at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.

This is a live BBC Two stream starting at 22:55 BST.

Available to UK users only

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Jun 012016
 

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Find out who is in Roy Hodgson’s final 23-man England squad for Euro 2016

England manager Roy Hodgson opted for “reputation rather than form” by dropping Danny Drinkwater from his Euro 2016 squad, says former striker Alan Shearer.

Leicester midfielder Drinkwater was left out of the final 23-man squad.

Shearer said that by selecting Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson, Hodgson was taking a “gamble” on their fitness.

“Drinkwater should have been in,” Shearer told BBC Radio 5 live. “He’s been one of the standout players.”

Drinkwater, who has won three caps, was voted man of the match on his debut in the 2-1 defeat by the Netherlands in March.

Arsenal midfielder Wilshere played only 141 minutes in the Premier League this season after breaking a leg, while Liverpool’s Henderson was out for five weeks with a knee injury. before returning as a substitute in their final league game at West Brom.

Match of the Day pundit Shearer, who scored 30 goals in 63 games for England between 1992 and 2000, said: “Once again England have gone for reputation rather than form. I hope the manager doesn’t regret it.”

BBC Sport team selector users agree with Shearer

The verdict of BBC Sport’s England Euro 2016 team selector – after it passed 1m users – matches Shearer’s.

Although BBC Sport users are asked to pick an England XI, rather than a 23-man squad, one third of people (358,000) chose Drinkwater in their team.

He came fifth for midfield selections behind Spurs’ duo Dele Alli (900,000) and Eric Dier (673,000), Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney (580,000) and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling (378,000).

A Premier League champion with Leicester City this season, Drinkwater was a more popular midfield choice than Everton’s Ross Barkley (322,000), Liverpool trio James Milner (286,000), Adam Lallana (282,000) and Jordan Henderson (230,000), and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere (253,000).

On Hodgson’s other two omissions, BBC Sport users largely agree, with City’s Fabian Delph (34,000) and Newcastle winger Andros Townsend (175,000) the bottom two midfield picks.

But few users chose teenage striker Marcus Rashford (116,000) to start for England in France, even though the Manchester United player scored on his international debut against Australia on Friday.

Shearer said that the 18-year-old deserves to be in the squad because of his performances in the last three months but said he would be “very surprised” if he started.

“If needs be, he can come and make an impact if England are chasing the game,” said Shearer. “Once he gets on, he may force the manager’s hand.”

According to data from the 1m uses so far, a BBC Sport team selector XI for England’s first game against Russia in Marseille on 11 June, would be:

In this BBC Sport users team, Wayne Rooney has the same amount of caps (110) as the rest of the outfield players combined

Agree with Shearer? Is this England team is right? Have a go and share your #MyEnglandXI

Who do you think should start at Euro 2016? Step into Roy Hodgson’s shoes and pick your XI – and then share it with your friends using our brand new team selector.

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