Can Clyne win England battle?

One of the talking points before the tournament for Liverpool supporters was whether the Reds’ right-back would beat off competition from Tottenham’s Kyle Walker for the spot in Roy Hodgson’s side.

Walker appeared to have won out when he was selected for the opening game against Russia, which England drew 1-1, and the 2-1 victory over Wales in the second round of Euro 2016 group fixtures at bethut.

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But Hodgson made the surprise decision to make six changes to his side for the key game against Martin Skrtel’s Slovakia side on Monday – which was good news for Clyne and some of his Liverpool colleagues in the squad.

Hodgson recalled Clyne along with Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson to his starting side that already included Adam Lallana. That meant that just James Milner was left out of the side from the Reds’ contingent in the squad. Pretty good going.

And Clyne showed that it is really close between him and Walker for the right-back spot with a display that almost yielded assists, a penalty and a goal from the former Southampton man.

He was a constant threat down the right flank for his country and his man of the match performance will certainly leave Hodgson pondering whether to recall the Spurs defender or stick with Clyne.

Another consideration might be to use Clyne on the left, as has been done at Anfield this season, to accommodate both in his side. Neither Danny Rose or Ryan Bertrand have looked as solid defensively or threatening offensively as Clyne and Walker and it might well make more sense to pick both.

Clyne would certainly not sniff at the opportunity to play the rest of England’s games on the left, and Walker would feel the same, if he were afforded that opportunity.

After a very consistent debut season at Anfield, the ex-Crystal Palace man has seen his reputation steadily rise and he will be looking to make the right-back spot his own – for both club and country.