Hodgson to take cautious approach

June 11, 2012
Football - Euro 2012 - Bet Now at Bet365

Chelsea duo John Terry and Ashley Cole have shaken off minor injury problems and are set to feature for England in their Euro 2012 opener against France.

The only member of Roy Hodgson's side who will definitely miss the action in Donetsk on Monday evening is Wayne Rooney who is suspended for England's first two group matches after being sent off in the qualifier against Montenegro eight months ago.

England, who go into the match as underdogs - they are 3.20 to win the game - are facing a Les Bleus side that are unbeaten in 21 games.

Laurent Blanc's side are determined to erase the memories of their disastrous performances at the World Cup in South Africa two years ago and at Euro 2008. They are 2.60 to beat England and 9.00 to win the tournament in Ukraine and Poland.

Hodgson is expected to pair Joleon Lescott with Terry at the heart of his defence while Danny Welbeck looks set to be preferred to Andy Carroll for the lone striker role. James Milner and Stewart Downing are predicted to take the wide roles rather then the more attack-minded Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott.

Blanc has a strong squad to choose from and looks set to use Patrice Evra and Philippe Mexes in defence rather than Gael Clichy and Laurent Koscielny.

Meanwhile, England captain Steven Gerrard thinks Hodgson's side will still qualify from the group even if they lose to France.

England face Sweden and Ukraine later this month and Gerrard said: "It's not the end of the world whichever way it goes.

"It is important we don't get carried away thinking we are going to win the tournament if we win and don't commit suicide if we lose because there will still be two games to recover."

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