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Roy Hodgson to bench four Tottenham players for Euro 2016 Slovakia showdown

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England will turn to its, shall we say, lesser players and hope for a positive result against Slovakia.

England Training Session and Press Conference
None of these players will be starting for England on Monday.
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

England head into Monday’s critical final group stage match against Slovakia needing a point to be assured of progression into the knock-out stages of Euro 2016 in France, and Roy Hodgson will do it with a very different starting 11 that features a lot fewer Tottenham Hotspur players.

According to the Guardian, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are all set for the sidelines for Sunday evening’s match in Saint-Etienne. Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand will come in at the fullback positions, Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson slotting into midfield, and Jamie Vardy replacing Kane. Defensive midfielder Eric Dier is the only Tottenham player to avoid the drop against the Slovaks. Manchester United forward midfielder player and England pariah Wayne Rooney will also make way.

If you’re a club-first Tottenham Hotspur fan (as many of us are), you might find this welcome news. All five Tottenham players started in each of the past two group stage matches against Russia and Wales. This appears to be a calculated risk by England manager Roy Hodgson to rest what he considers his most important players ahead of what is hoped is a knock-out round match against either France or Switzerland some European team in a scenario too complicated to list here. Asking his best players to play three matches in ten days is a lot, and Hodgson appears ready to trust his reserves to get a result against Slovakia.

Any misstep could prove costly, however: a Slovakia win and a Wales result against Russia and England could once again have a short and disappointing Euros.