VIDEO: EURO 2016 BLOG - England must not take Slovakia game lightly

Wayne Rooney - rested tonight?Wayne Rooney - rested tonight?
Wayne Rooney - rested tonight?
Apparantly boss Roy Hodgson is likely to rest some of his key players tonight with as many as six changes, but England still have much work to do to make sure they qualify for the last 16.

Lifted hugely by that last gasp 2-1 victory over Wales last Thursday, England need only a point against Slovakia in St Etienne tonight to make sure they finish in the top two and go through.

But, should they take the task too lightly, they could still end up slipping into a third place finish in the table where qualification is then down to being one of the best third place records, which could go down to goal difference and even yellow cards issued.

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Click HERE to see a video of the many group permutations tonight

You know with England it is rarely a smooth ride.

For all the people who had a pop at me for saying I dreaded the game against Wales last week, I hope you were choking on your pint for a while like I was.

It was never, ever going to be easy and Gareth Bale’s free kick had us all on tenterhooks for a while, though Joe Hart should have done better from that range.

Second half goal heroes Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge have both earned a starting place tonight on merit ahead of the hard-working but ineffective Harry Kane and completely misfiring Raheem Stirling.

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But I would hesitate before I made all four of the other mooted changes.

I can understand Wayne Rooney may feel the pace of so many games in a short space of time, full backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose have been bombing on with enthusiasm and midfielder Dele Alli is inexperienced at this level.

If we were through it would be a sensible move to rest them all. But we are not yet there.

I also know that England have won all three of their previous meetings with Slovakia, including both games in qualifying for Euro 2004, while Slovakia have never kept a clean sheet in their six previous games at a major tournament.

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But until we have a two or three goal lead tonight I will be gripping on to my glass knowing a shock defeat would have fans asking Hodgson why he didn’t play his strongest side.

I do feel we can beat Slovakia tonight with the six mooted changes, but take any international fixture lightly and you can come unstuck.

However, my biggest worry is, that should England make the final 16 tonight, I will be camping on Orkney next weekend and asking any landlord in a remote Scottish pub if he will put the England game on his TV for us to cheer to may be one of the biggest challenges anyone will face in Euro 2016!