Hodgson’s men face final test before Euros
Roy Hodgson’s England face Portugal tonight in the team’s final preparation game for Euro 2016.
After a small tour of the country registering 2-1 wins against both Turkey and Australia in the recent weeks, England tonight return to Wembley for what is likely to be the biggest test of their preparations. It’s the first run-out with the finalised 23-man squad, so the team we see tonight could very possibly be the same side we see start the game against Russia in 9 days time.
Roy Hodgson has expressed his frustration yesterday at the abscence of Portugal and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, a player of whose quality will be similar to that of Gareth Bale’s, a man England will have to stop on June 16th at the tournament.
“We were thinking about Gareth Bale,” Hodgson said when he explained why Portugal had been chosen as opponents.
“When we thought Portugal, we were thinking not only about their technical qualities and the fact they are a very good football team, but they also have a special individual.”
England starting XI predicion (4-3-1-2): Hart, Clyne, Cahill, Smalling, Rose, Wilshere, Dier, Henderson, Rooney, Vardy, Kane
Portugal starting XI prediction (4-3-3): Lopes, Soares, Fonte, Carvalho, Guerreio, Mario, Carvalho, Moutinho, Quaresma, Eder, Gomes
I think without Ronaldo, England will be able to contain Portugal quite well. It’s the first chance for the 23 players to really show Hodgson that they deserve to be starting in France in the opener against Russia in 10 days time, and really I think that this could be a vital game for Wayne Rooney. He was criticized quite a bit over the last Manchester United season, but his goal against Australia on Friday demonstrated what class he has.
Key man for England: Wayne Rooney
Score prediction: England 2-0 Portugal
By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10