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England's youth is a strength at Euro 2016, says Sturridge

Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - England Training - Stade des Bourgognes - Chantilly - 7/6/16 England's Daniel Sturridge after training REUTERS/Lee Smith
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - England Training - Stade des Bourgognes - Chantilly - 7/6/16 England's Daniel Sturridge after training REUTERS/Lee Smith

LONDON (Reuters) - England's lack of international experience can work in their favour, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge said as their Euro 2016 opener against Russia looms.

Roy Hodgson's starting line-up for Saturday's match in Marseille is likely to include the likes of Tottenham Hotspur trio Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane, none of whom have played at a senior tournament.

Other squad members such as Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne, Everton's John Stones and Southampton's Ryan Bertrand only have a smattering of caps and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford made his debut against Australia only last month.

Sturridge, who has earned only 18 caps since his international start in 2011, is relatively senior at 26 in a squad that is the youngest in the tournament.

Only four players are aged over 30 and eight have played fewer than 10 internationals.

But that should hold no fears as England try to win the competition for the first time, Sturridge said.

"I don't see why we can't be successful because we're young, I don't think age has anything to do with it, it's how we play as a team," Sturridge said after a training session at England's base in Chantilly on Tuesday.

"It's a young squad, and that's a strength it's not a weakness. We know that there's going to be a lot of eyes on us because we're England. I don't feel there is any pressure on us. I feel like we will enjoy the occasion.

"If you go back to Manchester United, the Liverpool sides and all other clubs around the world who have had young squads and young players, they had a gelling period and became successful."

After another injury-plagued season Sturridge is vying with the likes of Kane and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy for a starting spot.

England's only injury worry for the clash with Russia is Ryan Bertrand who could not train with the squad on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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