Stones, Shelvey and Vardy named in England side

Date published: Saturday 5th September 2015 10:16

John Stones, EVerton, TEAMtalk

John Stones: Everton defender faces Chelsea on Saturday

Roy Hodgson has named his England side to face San Marino – with Ross Barkley, John Stones, Jonjo Shelvey and Jamie Vardy all named in the starting line-up on Saturday afternoon.

Stones starts the match in his preferred centre-back slot, partnering his Everton team-mate Phil Jagielka, who is selected ahead of the out-of-form Gary Cahill. Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw start at right-back and left-back, respectively.

England will seal their Euro 2016 place with victory over the minnows in Serravalle, which kicks off at 5pm.

The midfield sees James Milner and Shelvey selected in central roles, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Barkley and Vardy will be tasked with supporting central striker Wayne Rooney.

“John is going to play, so that’s an opportunity,” said Hodgson. “He played magnificently for us at right-back a year ago when we beat Switzerland in Basel, but he’s played very well as a centre-back at Everton. It’s good to have a player of that type capable of playing in two positions.

“All I can hope is he continues to impress. He’s done exceptionally well, and the way he’s handled [the transfer issue] has been fantastic. He’s been 100% concentrated, focused and motivated to play since he’s been with us. He’s accepted an offer went in for him from another club, but his club didn’t want to sell. That won’t affect him.”

Shelvey will be rewarded for his excellent start to the season at Swansea with his second England cap.

“As for Jonjo, when he got his first cap also against San Marino he was in another good period in his career, but a lot has happened since then,” said Hodgson.

“He’s left Liverpool, joined Swansea, improved all the time. It’s not unusual it’s taken him a while to reach the level we knew he could, but he’s still only 22. He’s a very experienced 22-year-old, but he can look forward to a long England career if he continues the progress he’s been making at Swansea.”

Leicester striker Vardy will start just behind Rooney despite recently being fined for an incident in a casino where he repeatedly called a fellow gambler “Jap”.

“That matter was dealt with by [the director of elite development] Dan Ashworth, who took him to one side and spoke to him,” said Hodgson. “I spoke to him too, on an informal basis, after a recent Leicester game, and that’s water under the bridge.”

England team to face San Marino (4-2-3-1): Hart; Clyne, Stones, Jagielka, Shaw; Milner, Shelvey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Barkley, Vardy; Rooney.

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