Five players England should be wary of in Euro 2016 qualifying - featuring Shaqiri...

England have been handed a favourable Euro 2016 qualifying group, as they face Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, San Marino.

Roy Hodgson's side will begin their path to France after the 2014 World Cup, but the England boss should be feeling fairly confident about his chances of leading the Three Lions to the European Championships.

But whilst England will certainly fancy their chances against all their opponents, there are a number of players that Hodgson has to be wary of in all games – here is one player per-team that could stand in England's way.

Switzerland – Xherdan Shaqiri

The Bayern Munich winger burst onto the scene in 2010 with great displays for Switzerland and Basel against England and Manchester United. He has since moved on to Bayern Munich and whilst he isn't regarded as a key player at the Allianz Arena, he still possesses the dribbling, pace and long range shooting to be a real danger to the England backline.

Slovenia – Samir Handanovic

Inter Milan stopper Handanovic has recently been linked with a move to Barcelona, and his impressive displays in Serie A have established the Slovenian as one of the top goalkeepers in Europe. Slovenia will almost certainly be playing to not get beat when they arrive at Wembley, and beating Handanovic will be more difficult than many assume.

Estonia – Konstantin Vassiljev

Estonia are fairly bereft of top talent as many would assume, but midfielder Vassiljev is the one that makes them tick. 17 goals in 67 games from midfielder for his country show that the Amkar Perm midfielder has to be accounted for. Ex-Middlesbrough striker Tarmo Kink and former Motherwell and Derby forward Henrik Ojamaa could also be relied upon by Estonia, but the experienced Vassiljev will be key.

Lithuania – Marius Stankevicius

Lithuania have a couple of familiar faces, as Leeds' Marius Zaliukas and ex-Hearts winger Saulius Mikoliunas will feature heavily, but captain Stankevicius has a wealth of experience having played for the likes of Sampdoria, Sevilla, Valencia and Lazio. The 32-year-old defender will be vital to Lithuania's hopes of getting anything out of their games with England, particularly with his aerial ability.

San Marino – Andy Selva

It's highly unlikely that San Marino could cause England any problems – you would hope. But if San Marino are to even give the England defence something to think about, it would probably come through 37-year-old striker Andy Selva. Selva has racked up 63 caps over the years and is San Marino's all-time top goalscorer with eight goals, and a goal against England could be his greatest achievement in international football.

image: © TiM BiG

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