England coach Roy Hodgson is gambling with England’s chances at the Euro 2016 by resting in-form captain Wayne Rooney in their ‘must-win’ clash against Slovakia.
Along with this, the England manager is also contemplating making six changes for the final Group B clash. Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose are set to be benched.
According to reports, Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy are poised to take the two attacking positions. Jack Wilshire and Jordan Henderson will get a taste of their Euro 2016 campaign replacing Alli and Rooney, while Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand are expected to start the game.
If Hodgson’s gamble doesn’t pay off, England will go in third place in their group and face an even tougher last-16 opponent.
For Hodgson, the final group match against Slovakia is his last chance to rotate his squad.
Speculations are rife as to who will kick in as the central striker, but it is understood Vardy with Sturridge backing him will be his choice of play.
The potential implications of his tinkering were underlined by outgoing FA chairman Greg Dyke on Sunday.
Hodgson has arrived in France with his his FA contract due to expire after the tournament.
Dyke, speaking to BBC Sportsweek, repeated that the only way Hodgson is guaranteed an extension is a semi-final slot.
But, perhaps more pertinently, the FA supremo claimed the style of England’s performances in France will be used as a barometer to decide whether Hodgson stays in his role.
Dyke’s philosophy has not gone down well with the England squad with skipper Rooney backing Hodgson to continue as manager.