Hodgson names ‘The Ox’ in starting lineupComment on this story
DONETSK, Ukraine – England manager Roy Hodgson sprang a major surprise after naming Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to start Monday's Euro 2012 Group D clash with France.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was named for what will be only his second senior start as Hodgson opted for the teenager's pace rather than Stewart Downing on the flank.
The rest of the England line-up was as expected, with Danny Welbeck starting at centre-forward and Ashley Young in a withdrawn role.
Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker were paired in central midfield, with James Milner deployed on the other flank.
In defence, Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson start at left and right-back with John Terry partnering Joleon Lescott in the middle and Joe Hart in goal.
France lined up as expected, as coach Laurent Blanc kept faith with the team that started the 4-0 defeat of Estonia in their most recent friendly game.
Karim Benzema was named as a lone striker, with support on either flank from Samir Nasri and Franck Ribery.
Four players in the starting XI currently play in England's Premier League Ä Manchester United's Patrice Evra, Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle United, Chelsea's Florent Malouda and Manchester City's Nasri.
Joe Hart; Glen Johnson, John Terry, Joleon Lescott, Ashley Cole; James Milner, Scott Parker, Steven Gerrard (capt), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Ashley Young; Danny Welbeck
Coach: Roy Hodgson
Hugo Lloris (capt); Mathieu Debuchy, Adil Rami, Philippe Mexes, Patrice Evra; Yohan Cabaye, Alou Diarra, Florent Malouda; Samir Nasri, Karim Benzema, Franck Ribery
Coach: Laurent Blanc
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA) – Sapa-AFP