Mixed blessings of host status: England

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1 David Seaman Arsenal

Seven clean sheets in 10 games for Terry Venables, the established No 1. Don't mention Nayim (Age 32, 24 caps).

2 Gary Neville Manchester United

Rapid promotion from Old Trafford youth team to full England side, can play right-back or centre-back (21, 10).

3 Stuart Pearce Nottingham Forest

An electrician in his non-League days, the man they call "Psycho" is still the country's toughest left-back (34, 65).

4 Paul Ince Internazionale

Regained his place in midfield after steadily proving his worth in the cauldron of Italy's Serie A (28, 19).

5 Tony Adams Arsenal

The old warhorse, a loyal and patriotic centre-half, strong in the air but vulnerable on the deck (29, 40).

6 Gareth Southgate Aston Villa

Midfielder turned centre-back, with the skill to fit snugly into Venables' latest defensive formation (25, 4).

7 David Platt Arsenal

Experienced attacking midfielder who needs to prove that he can still be effective at the top level (29, 58).

8 Paul Gascoigne Rangers

The clown prince in midfield. Almost back to his best after a sequence of serious knee injuries (29, 38).

9 Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers

Clearly the best centre-forward in the Premiership, but has not scored for England since 1994. A mystery (25, 23).

10 Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur

Hard-working striker, ideal for the specialist role of playing just behind a lone centre-forward (30, 15).

11 Darren Anderton Tottenham Hotspur

Back from injury to play a vital role in making and taking chances from his wide midfield position (24, 11).

12 Steve Howey Newcastle United

Just made the squad after recovering from injury, a stylish and under- rated central defender (24, 4).

13 Tim Flowers Blackburn Rovers

Wanted to be a striker as a youngster, but has been turned into a top goalkeeper by Blackburn (29, 8).

14 Nick Barmby Middlesbrough

Two goals in the pre-tournament friendly in China secured a place for this former Tottenham link-man (22, 6).

15 Jamie Redknapp Liverpool

Son of the West Ham manager Harry Redknapp, accomplished all-round midfielder, good passer (22, 4).

16 Sol Campbell Tottenham Hotspur

Strong, athletic and versatile defender, surely one for the future if not this tournament (21, 1).

17 Steve McManaman Liverpool

Versatile attacking midfielder with the ability to dribble past defenders, but defensive doubts remain (24, 10).

18 Les Ferdinand Newcastle United

pounds 6m striker who has had to work hard to convince Venables of his worth. Unlikely to be a starter (29, 10).

19 Phil Neville Manchester United

Cool left-back or centre-back, Gary's brother won an FA Youth Cup medal with United just a year ago (19, 1).

20 Steve Stone Nottingham Forest

Busy wide man, scored on his debut and in his first full game. Not as old as he looks (24, 6).

21 Robbie Fowler Liverpool

85 goals in 143 games for Liverpool, but may have to bide his time before establishing international career (21, 3).

22 Ian Walker Tottenham Hotspur

Agile, confident goalkeeper; son of the former Norwich and Everton manager, Mike Walker (24, 2).

The team

Automatic qualification as hosts has its drawbacks: England have not played a competitive match since 1993. The side, especially in defence, is still not settled but the return of Anderton after injury means that Gascoigne may, at last, be able to share the creative burden.

The coach

Terry Venables' coaching career has taken him from Crystal Palace to the top job via QPR, Barcelona and Spurs, where he became entangled in off-field problems that prompted his decision to step down after Euro 96.

The fact file

Previous appearances in finals: 1968 (third place), 1972 (quarter-finals), 1980 (first round), 1988 (first round), 1992 (first round).

Qualifying record: Excused qualifiers as hosts.

Population 47.2m. Registered clubs 41,750. Registered players 3.28m. Professional players 5,000.

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