Coach Roy Hodgson has said he wants England to win their group at Euro 2016 and the motivation is simple, they will get a weaker opponent in the last 16.
England face Slovakia in their final group game in St Etienne on Monday night, knowing a win will see them top the group and earn a knockout tie against one of the other group’s third-placed teams.
Hodgson said that who they face and not the location was more important.
“The important thing is to be there,” he said when asked whether playing in Paris was a big draw.
England are based in Chantilly, just 30 miles from Paris and will play at the Parc de Prince should they finish top.
“If that means Paris, that’s good, but all the venues are fine, so we don’t want to win the group necessarily because it’s Paris and it’s a little bit closer to our base camp,” he added.
“We really want to win the group because it means we’ll play against a third-placed team rather than playing a second- or first-placed team. Our motivation to win is there for all to see,” said Hodgson.
Despite the desire to win the group, the England coach has confirmed he will make six changes to the side for the Slovakia tie, with captain Wayne Rooney rested and Jordan Henderson filling in.
Dele Alli, Harry Kane, and Raheem Sterling are also expected to be left out. Their places will be filled by Jack Wilshere, Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy.
Full backs Kyle Walker and Justin Rose will make way for Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand.