Sam Allardyce makes his England debut, and what a debut, a World Cup qualifier away to Slovakia, who sit just 11 places behind the Three Lions in the FIFA rankings.
As his side prepare for the opening match at Štadión Antona Malatinského, Northeast of the capital Bratislava, Sam May analysis his team selection ahead of the clash.
The 61-year-old will be looking to follow in the footsteps of the previous eight England managers who have all won their first match.
Sam has always protected the back first, so it’s no surprise that the inclusion of the classy and informed John Stones has been selected. The 22-year-old slots into what’s looking like the first choice back five, as the now Torino Joe Hart retains his place between the sticks.
In midfield, there is a surprise maybe with Jordan Henderson replacing Dele Alli. Alongside England’s best performer at the Euro’s Eric Dier, it looks like Big Sam has set the team up to protect the English goal.
As mentioned, Alli has been left out, which could be seen as a brave move but the Spurs partnership of Alli and Kane, misfired in the last two European matches.
Lallana has been preferred to Liverpool teammate Daniel Sturridge. This decision is probably based on the lack of game time so far this season with Sturridge, corresponding with the impressive start of Lallana for Klopp’s Reds.
The evergreen Rooney, bolstered by retaining the captaincy will marshal the team and should link up well with Harry Kane who needs a goal, and the rejuvenated Raheem Sterling of Manchester City.
Expect a solid, if not spectacular performance and England to win by the odd goal in three.