England vs Estonia – Match preview and team news

England can be expected to play with a certain degree of freedom as they face Estonia in their final home Euro 2016 qualifier, with the visitors needing a result to keep alive their chances of making the play-offs.

With Wayne Rooney having become his country’s record scorer last time out against Switzerland, the only remaining target from this relative cakewalk of a campaign is to finish with maximum points. Indeed, Rooney may not even be fit for this clash, so manager Roy Hodgson may sense an opportunity to experiment slightly with his squad.

That looks likely to include a starting berth for Theo Walcott in attack, while Jamie Vardy will be keen to grab his first international goal to cap what has been a wonderful start to the Premier League season with Leicester City, where he leads the scoring charts with seven from eight games including a penalty kick in Saturday’s win away to Norwich City.

The starting XI here is not expected to differ too much for the one that takes to the field for the opening game of next summer’s tournament, with the exception of the forward line. If fit, Rooney will lead England in France and is likely to be supported by Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck, both of whom are not in the current squad.

This should be a fairly routine England win, although this game does carry plenty of importance for Estonia, who are two points behind Slovenia in the race for third spot and a two-legged tie in November. Only an Adam Lallana free-kick saw them lose to the Three Lions 11 months ago, and overall this has been a strong campaign for the Baltic state, who were massively disappointing in their attempts to reach the 2014 World Cup.

That said, they lack the quality to seriously trouble England, who must also make do without John Stones, who has missed the last two Everton games through injury.

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