Manchester United star Wayne Rooney is all set to captain England in the high-octane World Cup qualifier clash with Scotland on Friday.
Rooney went down the pecking order after a series of sloppy performances for the Three Lions and Manchester United. Earlier, interim England boss Gareth Southgate had dropped Rooney from the first team after their frustrating goalless draw against Slovenia last month.
Rooney has found life difficult under new manager Jose Mourinho after a series of sloppy performances this season. The England skipper has faced an uphill task in sealing a permanent place in the United first team and was linked with a move to MLS side La Galaxy and Premier League club Everton.
Wayne Rooney’s last goal in the league came against Bournemouth in the opening fixture this season on 14th August. He broke his prolonged goal drought in the Europa League clash with a stunning goal against Fenerbahce last week.
The Man Utd legend has showed sparks of improvement with every passing game before putting up an inspiring performance in the 3-1 win over Swansea on Sunday – where he earned two valuable assists.
And after resurgence in his form, Rooney is now set to lead the England side for the World Cup qualifier clash with fierce rivals Scotland at Wembley on Friday night.
Spurs star Harry Kane returned from a seven-week injury break and it is believed that he has not regained full match sharpness. Recent reports have claimed that the English role is not fit enough to lead the English attack for Friday’s high-voltage clash.
This has led Southgate to recall Rooney back to squad in order to strengthen the attacking options and foottheball sources claim that the Man Utd legend can also be used as a lone striker.
The biggest task ahead of Southgate must be lining up the England attack. The situation is dicey as none of his strikers are in good form for their clubs.
Spurs star Harry Kane has just made one appearance after recovering from his ankle injury. He scored from a penalty last week as Tottenham held Arsenal 1-1.
Leicsester City forward Jamie Vardy has proved to be a one-season wonder as he failed to recreate his incredible form, which had surprised football aficionados last season. He has gone 13 matches without a goal this season and it is believed that Southgate would be hesitate to put him up front.
Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge has shown sparks of brilliance but has failed to hold on to it, while Man Utd prodigy Marcus Rashford has failed to earn more game time under new boss Jose Mourinho.
With no other solid options in hand, Southgate has to rest his hopes on the experience and leadership skills of Rooney for the high-octane clash that Scotland is desperate to win to keep their chances open of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
A win for England will strengthen their position at the top in Group F, but a defeat or a draw will reignite the chances for Lithuania, Slovenia and Scotland to join the race for qualification.