Slovakia v England

Slovakia will be hoping to give new England manager Sam Allardyce a torrid debut as England head coach when they face off in the 2018 World Cup qualifying Group F opener in Trnava on Sunday.

Allardyce who has taken over from Roy Hodgson following The Three Lions dismal showing at Euro 2016 – where they were dumped out at the last-16 stage by minnows Iceland, has been tasked to lead his country to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

His opponents Slovakia exited Euro 2016 at the same stage after a 3-0 loss to Germany, though Jan Kozak's side impressed during their run with a creditable victory over Russia and nearly securing a draw against group winners Wales.

"I didn't watch them (Slovakia) in the Euros because I think different tactics will be used by Slovakia when they are playing at home," Allardyce told reporters. 

"They only needed a point in the Euros, so they sat back and were very defensively minded and really chose not tot attack at all because they only needed a point."
 
England will have to be sharp to ensure the playmaker Marek Hamsik does not exploit the gap between midfield and defence, that's often been a soft spot within the English national team.

The place of Joe Hart as first-choice will undoubtedly be the talking point after his ousting at Manchester City led to a shock move to Serie A side Torino.

Burnley captain Tom Heaton could be in line for a start after he impressed in the opening stages of the English Premier League season.

Wayne Rooney who will continue as captain under the former Sunderland boss will be deployed in the number ten role, the position Tottenham's Dele Alli filled during the Euro's. However, Alli is unconcerned about the news – claiming he'd be happy to play in any position for his country.

"Everyone likes a bit of competition, I'm going to keep working hard and I will be happy to play anywhere for the country," Alli told Standard Sport.

"I'm young and would like to play anywhere, if the manager chooses Wayne to play in the No.10 role then that's not my decision to make. I will take it and keep working hard."

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