Rooney likely to be fit for England after Man Utd absence
Wayne Rooney should be fit to play for England in the forthcoming World Cup double-header despite missing Manchester United’s Champions League draw with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, BBC Sport has reported.
Rooney sat out the match in Ukraine with a shin injury but could return to action in the Premier League on Saturday as United travel to struggling Sunderland. National team manager Roy Hodgson is due to name his squad for the matches against Montenegro and Poland on Thursday and Rooney should be part of it, with United boss David Moyes confirming the striker will be available for England barring a complication against the Black Cats.
Hodgson also has to do without back-up goalkeeper Ben Foster, who has a broken foot, ruling out the West Bromwich Albion custodian from challenging Joe Hart for his place. The BBC adds that Hart’s form has been a concern for Hodgson, particularly after his mistake contributed to Manchester City’s midweek Champions League defeat, but in the absence of an experienced alternative Hart is likely to keep his place.
Theo Walcott misses the matches after abdominal surgery but Rooney’s fitness would see the United striker paired with Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge, with the duo netting 12 times between them this season. Hodgson can also call on Rickie Lambert, who has two goals in three England appearances.
England require two wins to guarantee a place at the World Cup in Brazil next year and currently top Group A. There is only a point between first and third, however, and with Ukraine playing Poland and San Marino, England need to beat Montenegro and Poland to avoid the prospect of dropping to second and entering the play-offs.
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