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Euro 2016 profile: England face tough Group B campaign

England will have to contest with close rivals Wales to progress at Euro 2016.

We profile England and their hopes of making an impact at Euro 2016. Can they put past tournament struggles behind them in France this summer?

We’re profiling all 24 teams at the Euro 2016 finals in France, so punters are in the know when it comes to the sides on show this summer.

Next up are England, a nation that stormed to the tournament with a perfect qualifying record from Group E, with 10 victories from as many outings, but they face a much tougher task ahead of them this summer.

Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions will have to come face-to-face with fellow Home Nation Wales, as well as Russia and Slovakia in Group B in France, as they aim to make amends for their underwhelming performances at the 2014 World Cup and are a best-priced 12/1 with Paddy Power to triumph at the Euros.

History at the Euros: England’s best ever showings at a European Championship were their paths to the semi-finals in both 1968 and 1996, having been the host nation on the latter occasion.

In 1968, the English managed to finish third, having been stopped by Yugoslavia in the semis. At Euro ’96, a side featuring the likes of Paul Gascoigne, Stuart Pearce and Alan Shearer, who finished as tournament top scorer, fell to bitter rivals Germany on penalties.

Head coach: Former Blackburn Rovers, Inter Milan and Liverpool boss Hodgson oversaw a strong qualifying campaign and will be hopeful of success in France, having excelled before with other countries.

The 68-year-old previously guided Switzerland to the 1994 World Cup, the nation’s first major tournament since the 1960s. He also led Finland to their highest-ever FIFA world ranking during his spell in charge during 2006-07.

Key player: Harry Kane is set to have a nation’s hopes placed upon his young shoulders in France, with record goalscorer Wayne Rooney having endured injury problems. The Spurs sharpshooter has been in sublime form for his club as they chase a historic Premier League title triumph, scoring goals for fun domestically.

Rising star: Kane’s Tottenham teammate Dele Alli is another who has risen to prominence this term and Hodgson may see the midfield prospect as his ace in the pack. The youngster’s goals and creativity from the central areas should him secure a starting line-up spot.

Wildcard: Another starlet ready to take France by storm is Everton’s Ross Barkley, with the Toffees playmaker possessing the attacking qualities that can help England earn success on their travels; they are 11/4 with BetVictor to exit at the quarter-final stage.

Confirmed England Euro 2016 fixtures

All kick-offs are British Summer Time (BST)

Saturday, June 11: England v Russia (20:00); Stade Velodrome, Marseille, ITV

Thursday, June 16: England v Wales (14:00); Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens, BBC

Monday, June 20: Slovakia v England (20:00); Stade Geoffroy Guichard, St-Etienne, ITV

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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