Monday 12 October 2015

A much-changed England side will be looking to end their qualifying campaign with a 100% record for the first time in the modern era as they travel to Lithuania.

The Three Lions have won nine of their nine Group E matches to date – the only team to do so throughout the campaign.

With a place in France secured, Roy Hodgson is expected to make numerous changes, with key players such as Joe Hart and Wayne Rooney not travelling to Vilnius.

Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterling scored the goals that comfortably saw off Estonia at Wembley, but the England boss is expected to give some of his inexperienced squad players a chance.

England top the group with 27 points, having won all nine of their matches so far. But despite this, Hodgson is wary of a Lithuania team that will make life hard for The Three Lions.

“We respect Lithuania,” he said.

“They did very well to get a draw against Slovenia. We will face a very well organised team.

“We are ready for the task and we will do our level best to win.”

Tottenham youngster Dele Alli will be looking to earn his first start, having been drafted into the squad following a successful start to his life in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Stoke Goalkeeper Jack Butland will also earn his second cap following an appearance in 2012 against Italy.

A win would see England join a list of just four other teams to have a perfect qualification campaign heading into a major tournament, with both Spain and Germany doing so for Euro 2012.

Lithuania go into the game in fifth place, having gained a respectable 10 points in what has been a difficult campaign for them.

But despite being three points behind Slovenia in the play-off spot, they can’t qualify because of their inferior head-to-head record against them.

Group Position: Lithuania – 5th (10 points); England – 1st (27 points)
Last Meeting: England 4-0 Lithuania (March 27, 2015)
Key Men: Lithuania – Arvydas Novikovas; England – Harry Kane
Form: Lithuania – LLLWD; England – WWWWW
Shoot Says: Lithuania 0-3 England

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