No place for Vardy in England team for Russia


Marseille (AFP) – Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy was left on the bench as England manager Roy Hodgson handed no fewer than five Tottenham players their major finals debut in the opening Euro 2016 Group B match with Russia on Saturday.

England will be desperate to put a positive spin on the first day of the tournament at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille after scenes of sickening fan violence in the port city.

But Vardy’s stunning season was not enough to reward the Leicester striker with his first start for England at an international tournament.

The 22-year-old Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier will play at the heart of England’s three-man midfield, with England captain Wayne Rooney, who has lately played in midfield for Manchester United, to his left and Dier’s Spurs teammate Dele Alli on the right.

Dier and Alli have never played at a major finals for England, although their recent performances for club and country symbolise England’s recent renewal under the 68-year-old Hodgson.

Up front, Spurs striker Harry Kane leads England’s attack, with Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling to his left and Liverpool’s Adam Lallana to his right.

Russia’s recent injury crisis has left coach Leonid Slutsky with a selection dilemma and he deployed a 4-5-1 formation that will see German-born Roman Neustaedter make his major finals debut for his newly-adopted country.

Teams for the England v Russia Euro 2016 Group B game at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome on Saturday (ko: 1900 GMT):

England

Joe Hart; Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Danny Rose; Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Wayne Rooney (capt); Adam Lallana, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling

Coach: Roy Hodgson (ENG)

Russia

Igor Akinfeev; Igor Smolnikov, Sergei Ignashevich, Vasili Berezutski, Georgi Schennikov; Roman Neustaedter, Aleksandr Golovin; Fedor Smolov, Oleg Shatov, Aleksandr Kokorin; Artem Dzyuba

Coach: Leonid Slutsky (RUS)

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)

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