Football

Thursday, 19 June 2014 | MYT 12:32 AM

Start with Lallana, Hoddle tells England

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - England should use Adam Lallana from the start to give them greater attacking options against Uruguay in their World Cup Group D clash in Sao Paulo on Thursday, former national team manager Glenn Hoddle said.

That one change would completely alter the shape of the team that was beaten by Italy in their opener and revamp the way they could play, according to Hoddle.

"It would, in my opinion, make all the difference," he said.

"I would have Steven Gerrard sitting in front of the back four, and ahead of him Wayne Rooney and Adam Lallana – replacing Jordan Henderson - with Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling in the side positions."

That change would create a 'V' formation, with Gerrard at the point, and Rooney and Lallana at the two prongs, allowing Rooney to burst forward, with Lallana sitting alongside Gerrard, or Lallana to break forward with Rooney dropping back into midfield.

"One goes in, one stays," Hoddle said.

However, England coach Roy Hodgson is likely to be happy with the way his team played despite their 2-1 defeat, and will surely be tempted to start with the same 11, Hoddle said in a column for British bookmaker William Hill .

"Apart from maybe switching Rooney and Sterling (Rooney inside and Sterling on to the wing) I don’t believe Roy will change the starting 11," he said.

"Sterling was great in that number 10 role, it has to be said, but it also proved to be England’s Achilles' heel as it left Leighton Baines badly exposed against Italy.

"In effect, with Sterling and Welbeck defending when England are not in possession, there would be four across midfield with Gerrard behind, giving more protection by not being outnumbered in midfield."

Hoddle said switching Rooney and Sterling would pay double dividends - by getting Rooney more central where he is more comfortable and effective, and by Sterling affording Baines more cover.

"Baines needs someone in front of him to give him protection and Sterling has the young legs to run up and down the flank to fill in that hole that was left against Italy which they exposed brilliantly," he said.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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