IT’S EURO 2016 TIME!
England shirt - Check.
Little St. George’s car flag – Check.
Euro 2016 Wall Chart – Check.
Ludicrous Optimism that England can win it – Check.
Secretly wishing I was actually just watching Leeds – Check.
I’m going to start by saying it. I LOVE the Euros and the World Cup... basically any major tournament where England play. It’s the only 2 months out of 2 years I actually support England, but I like to go all in when it comes round.
Of course I would rather be at Elland Road watching Leeds play, as most of us would. But over the summer months, I will literally get my football fix by watching anything, and England playing in the Euros is much better than anything.
We start our Euro campaign in Marseille against Russia, live on ITV at 8.00 UK time, and as for who Roy Hodgson will start, there is still some debate. The front line of Vardy, Rooney and Kane didn’t work that well in the final friendly against Portugal, although in my opinion this was more down to the formation and Vardy/Kane being pushed into the wings than anything else.
Smalling, Cahill and Bertrand have all been treated for minor injuries in the past week but should be fit if selected. I would expect Roy to go with the exact same line up he did against Portugal though, possibly putting Wilshere in there instead of James Milner. This means England will have plenty of attacking flair on the night and should score a few against a Russian team who have only kept a clean sheet once in the last 15 games.
As for Russia, Aleksander Golovin of CSKA Moscow is the one to watch and is a very skillful midfield playmaker. Thankfully two of Russia key men, Denisov and Dzagoev, have been hit with late injuries and make the Russian proposition look much weaker.
If we're being honest, England should win this game comfortably, and if we don’t then media will have a field day. I do expect us to win this one quite comfortably though. Russia are not the team they used to be and should be little opposition for the tournament's 4th favourites.
Also worth noting…..Russia’s head coach is called Slutsky. Just saying.
IT’S EURO 2016 TIME!
Enjoy the game!
(Remember: 8:00pm BT, 3:00pm ET, 12:00pm PT. And for a comprehensive look at every team in Euro 2016... here's a good one.)