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Jun 20, 2016 at 8pm UK at Stade Geoffroy Guichard

Gary Cahill: 'Finishing second could be a good thing for England'

England defender Gary Cahill claims that finishing second behind Wales in Euro 2016 Group B could be a blessing in disguise.

England defender Gary Cahill has claimed that finishing second in Group B could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for his side.

The Three Lions were frustrated by Slovakia in a goalless draw last night, while Wales cruised to a 3-0 win over Russia to leapfrog their British neighbours in the final standings.

England will now face the runners-up of Group F, which contains Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal, but they do also have a week between games, with their last-16 fixture being the final one of that round.

"Not finishing top may not be the end of the world. Who knows how Portugal's group will pan out? That group is very strange, Portugal could finish first, second or third. But if we do face them it will be far from an easy game. I feel that they have yet to get going and they have some great players," Cahill told reporters.

"Having a week between games could be good for us at this stage. It will freshen everyone up and people can shake off little niggles. We can also work on things some more in training. The tournament has been intense and played at a great pace. To have that little rest now will be positive for us. By playing on Monday, we will have longer to prepare for our opponents and that is important.

"We may play with different personnel or in a different way, so all the time the manager and staff have with us is vital. That's another good thing about the timing of the game. We are not shying away from the fact we wanted to finish top of the group and we know the next round will be a big game. But we will go out and play in the same manner as we have done in the last three matches because we have dominated all of them."

While England's finish sets them on a collision course with France in the quarter-finals, Wales as group winners take on a third-placed team in the last 16 and could face either the winners of Group F or runners-up of Group E should they make the last eight.


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Gary Cahill of England celebrates after Jack Wilshere of England scored their first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier between Slovenia and England on at the Stozice Arena on June 14, 2015
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