England could move six points clear at the top of Euro 2016 qualifying Group E if they see of the challenge of Slovenia on a Wembley pitch still recovering following the recent staging of an NFL match.
Even if points are dropped here, it is highly unlikely that England will relinquish the position of immense comfort they have built for themselves after only three matches, picking up maximum points.
As a result, this encounter does not arrive with much relatively in the way of anticipation among supporters, but a lack of penetration was their main criticism in Estonia on October 12 when Wayne Rooney’s free-kick sealed a narrow victory in a game in which the Three Lions dominated possession for long spells.
Indeed, this is set to be a very special occasion for the captain, who is expected to be handed his 100th England cap at the age of 29, having made his debut against Australia in February 2003 aged 17 years and 111 days, and it would be the perfect day should his side win and he edge closer to Bobby Charlton’s scoring record of 49.
The reward for Slovenia should they triumph on Saturday would be to move level on points with England, having defeated Switzerland and Lithuania in their last two games after losing their opener in Estonia. They do not possess as strong a side as they did when the two sides last met in the 2010 World Cup, but Srecko Katanec’s side will be confident of reaching the finals in France.
Kieran Gibbs is likely to play at left-back for England because of an injury to Leighton Baines. Central midfielder Michael Carrick and winger Andros Townsend have already withdrawn from the squad.