Wembley Stadium, London
Friday, October 9, 17:45 GMT
England take on Estonia in the Euro 2016 qualifiers hoping to maintain their 100% record in the qualifiers. The English are guaranteed top spot in the Group E, while the Eastern European side are in fourth place, but, can still qualify.
However, they are five points adrift of Switzerland in second a their final Group E opponents, in Tallinn on 12 October a and two points behind Slovenia in the play-off slot with two games to go.
England Team News & Tactics
England can afford to experiment in the tie having already secured the top spot for the December 12 draws.
Jonjo Shelvey, Wayne Rooney, Danny Ings are all doubt and their fitness will be assessed closer to kick off, while John Stones has pulled out of the squad due to injury.
England are expected to play a 4-2-3-1 with Theo Walcott up-front in case Ings and Rooney do not recover in time, flanked by Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Ross Barkley in the no.10 role.
Milner and Michael Carrick will act as holding midfield player with the back 5 consisting of goalkepeer Joe Hart, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Ryan Bertrand and Nathaniel Clyne.
Clyne and Bertrand are expected to bomb forward while Carrick makes the play and assists Milner in breaking it, too.
England will be expected to use the pace of the front four to counter-attack and might exploit Estonia’s obligation to attack through the quartet.
Predicted Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Hart, Clyne, Smalling, Cahill, Bertrand, Clyne, Milner, Carrick, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sterling, Barkley, Walcott
Estonia Team News & Tactics
Estonia manager Magnus Pehrsson has a fully fit squad to select from coming into this must-win tie and are expected to line-up in a 4-5-1 formation.
Estonia will need to beat England if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the Euro 2016 finals to be held in France.
The back five, who are expected to stay compact, will consist of goalkeeper Londak, fullbacks Teniste and Pikke and central defenders Klavan and Jaager.
The experienced Dmitrijev is expected to anchor the midfield with Lindpere and Vassiljev, ruling out Karol Mets involvement in the starting XI.
Kallaste and Zenjov will be expected to provide the width from wide areas with Purje set to lead the attack for the visitors.
Predicted Estonia XI: Londak, Teniste, Pikke, Klavan, Jaager, Dmitrijev, Lindpere, Vassiljev, Kallaste, Zenjob, Purje
Man to watch:
Everton star has been in superb form for the Merseyside outfit throughout this season. With England looking to build for the Euro 2016, the Evertonian will be looking to nail his position in the squad for the tournament in France through his performances for Everton and the national side.
The Estonia tie represents a good chance for the English international to put his claim for a first team spot for the Euro 16.
- All three of their previous meetings have ended in England victories, with Estonia yet to score a goal.
- England are the only team to have won all eight of their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifers; they were the first side a apart from hosts France a to confirm their place in next summer’s finals.
- England are unbeaten in 18 home qualifiers (W15 D3) since a 3-2 loss to Croatia in November 2007.
- Estonia are without a win in their last seven competitive away matches (D1 L6) a and are without a goal in their most recent five away qualifiers, comprising four defeats and a 0-0 draw in San Marino.
England 2-1 Estonia
England have a lot of pace up-front and in the full-back areas, meaning that they will be looking to counter-attack Estonia. The English might just be far too strong for Estonia and the fact that the Eastern Europeans will have to attack the hosts because they have to win the game means they will be playing into the hands of the host’s tactics to counter-attack.