England vs San Marino – Match preview and team news

Only victory by a sizeable margin will be expected as England take on minnows San Marino in their first home Euro 2016 qualifier.

Victory away to Switzerland in September has already put the Three Lions in a commanding position in the group, and with a trip to Estonia to come, this international break could lead them effectively to the brink of qualification in what looks set to be a comfortable campaign.

There were plenty of questions regarding the team and manager Roy Hodgson ahead of the game in Basel, but Danny Welbeck’s double, as well as positive performances from Fabian Delph and John Stones ensured that there is potential going forward.

Hodgson may choose to use this match as a chance to experiment with some of the less prominent members of the squad, but captain Wayne Rooney will play due to his club suspension. Grabbing the first goal will be the main aim from kick-off, with San Marino expected to set their stall out to defend and frustrate England.

Along with the Central Asian state of Bhutan, the visitors are bottom of the FIFA rankings, and conceded 13 goals without reply in their two games against England in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. They have only ever won one match since making their bow in 1990 – a 1-0 friendly victory over Liechtenstein in 2004.

Delph will be able to play for England despite picking up a knock for Aston Villa against Manchester City on Saturday. Stones, along with striker Daniel Sturridge, is not part of the squad due to injury.

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