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Raheem Sterling could start for England in Euro 2016 opener with Russia

• Roy Hodgson looking to exploit lack of pace in Russia defence
• Sterling has impressed in training and warm-up matches

Roy Hodgson’s determination to exploit an ageing Russia defence has thrust Raheem Sterling into serious contention to start England’s opening Group B fixture in Marseille.

The manager is considering an attack-minded selection laced with pace for Saturday’s match at Stade Vélodrome as he contemplates how to incorporate Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Dele Alli, Adam Lallana and Sterling in his lineup. Jamie Vardy’s hopes of playing a part have not been entirely dashed, though it remains to be seen whether the Leicester City forward, the subject of a £20m bid from Arsenal, begins the game. He is more likely to start on the bench.

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