Roy Hodgson names three of his starters for Euro qualifier

Friday 04 Sep 2015
Roy Hodgson and England arrived in San Marino on Friday evening

Roy Hodgson has revealed that Jonjo Shelvey, Jamie Vardy and John Stones will all start against San Marino on Saturday.

Shortly after landing in a cloudy and wet Rimini, Hodgson and his 22-man squad headed to Serravalle where the top-v-bottom Group E encounter will take place.

Knowing victory will be enough to secure them at least second spot in the table and a place at Euro 2016 next summer with three games to spare, the squad had a walk around the pitch in the picturesque surroundings.

San Marino v England

UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier
5pm, Saturday 5 September
San Marino Stadium, Serravalle
Live on ITV 1

Hodgson and captain Wayne Rooney then went inside to speak to the press on the eve of their opening game of the season, and it was there that the manager revealed the trio of starters. 

Leicester City forward Vardy and Swansea City midfielder Shelvey will be making their first starts for their country, while Everton defender Stones will win his fifth cap.

And with midfield duo Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere both missing through injury, Hodgson is also excited to see what Shelvey can offer against the same country that he made his debut against three years ago. 

"I don't really like to give the team out before the game, but there are some players that have invoked a lot of interest and speculation," he said. 

"So I can say that Jonjo Shelvey, who has had a brilliant start to the season with Swansea, will start the game as will John Stones and Jamie Vardy.

Roy Hodgson confirmed Jamie Vardy will start against San Marino

"John (Stones) has done exceptionally well, it's a fact of life that the transfer window brings about speculation but since he has been with us there is no question whatsoever, he is motivated to play.

"When Jonjo got his cap before he was in a good period of his career but a lot has happened since then.

"He has left Liverpool and joined Swansea, he has improved while he has been there so I don't think it is so unusual that it has taken him a while to reach the level that we always thought he could reach. 

Wayne Rooney in training preparing for San Marino

"And you must remember that he is still only 22, he is a very experienced 22 but he is only 22 and he has got every reason to look forward to a long England career if he can keep up the sort of form that he has shown at the opening of this season."

Rooney goes into the clash against San Marino one goal short of Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time England record of 49. 

“The main thing is to go out and do the job, that is to try and help us win the game”

Wayne Rooney England captain

And while Hodgson insisted it is a question of when, not if, Rooney breaks the record, the striker himself knows victory for the team and qualification for the Euros is far more important than any personal milestone. 

"Throughout my career the most important thing is the team doing well," said the 29-year-old. 

"It's nice to score and hopefully I can do that, but the important thing is the team. 

"The main thing is to go out and do the job, that is to try and help us win the game and be in the right areas to score goals, if I can do that then the opportunities will come. 

"I'm looking forward to the game, hopefully we can get the win that we want that will put us through and hopefully I can get the goal as well."

By FA Staff