Declan Rice to make first start for England

First start

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice is set to make his first start for England in tonight’s Euro 2020 qualifier away to Montenegro, according to Sky Sports.

Rice made his England debut on Monday night when he came off the bench to play the best part of half an hour as a substitute after replacing Dele Alli, but will now be making his full debut in what is expected to be hostile circumstances.

England manager Gareth Southgate will be forced to shuffle his pack on Friday night after he confirmed that trio Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli and Jadon Sancho - all of whom started against Czech Republic - were all to face fitness tests ahead of Monday night’s clash.

Callum Hudson-Odoi
Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi is also expected to start

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier also started against the Czechs on Friday night at Wembley Stadium but lasted just 17 minutes before being replaced by Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley, and is ruled out tonight.

Jadon Sancho is unlikely to feature from the start, meaning Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi will also receive his first start for his country after coming from the bench to play 20 minutes as a substitute. We must also presume that one of Henderson or Alli is injured with Rice’s inclusion in the starting XI, with the former set to win his 50th cap for his country in his next appearance for the Three Lions.

It completes what has been a remarkable international turnaround for Rice in the last few months, having gone from earning three caps in friendlies for Ireland to starting for England in a European Championship qualifier.

Declan Rice
Rice's first international appearance came wearing the green of Ireland

The 20-year-old was at the centre of an international tug-of-war between England and Ireland over the last few months, with Mick McCarthy keen to keep him involved in the Irish set-up. However, the Kingston-born midfielder elected to switch to the country of his birth, despite the fact he had also played for a number of Ireland’s youth sides before then representing the senior side.

Rice has made 28 appearances for West Ham this season, scoring two goals and has established himself in the middle of midfielder under manager Manuel Pellegrini, flourishing after initially playing much of his football in the middle of the defence.

With Harry Winks, Jesse Lingard, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Adam Lallana and Fabian Delph all missing from this squad, as well as Dier and potentially Henderson and Alli’s knocks, tonight is an opportunity for Rice to stake his claim for a regular place in the squad.

Free Bets & Offers

🔴 Bet £5 & Get £20 FREE BETS! 🔴
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Claim Bonus
🙌 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH! 🙌
New customers only. Minimum odds 1/5 (1.2). If you place a multiple at least one selection must meet the min odds requirement. Max £20 refund. Only deposits made using Cards or Applepay qualify. Qualifying bet must be placed and settled within 30 days of account opening. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Money Back As Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Bet Loses + £10 Casino Bonus! 🟢
New customers only. 18+, Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £5 & Get £30 in Bonuses 🌟
New Customers only. Deposit and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Sports/Virtual Sports Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days, plus a £10 Casino Bonus, expires in 7 days. Wager the Casino Bonus 35x to withdraw winnings. Payment Cards only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Claim Bonus
Get up to £30 in FREE BETS! ☑️
New UK & Ireland customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Terms Apply
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.