England captain Steven Gerrard is confident that Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney can form the perfect duo to lead the Three Lions to next year’s World Cup, the
The pair have started the season in blistering form for their clubs, with Rooney netting five times for Manchester United and Sturridge the current top goalscorer in the Premier League with eight goals in all competitions this season for fierce rivals Liverpool.
The two strikers have only played together for 30 minutes in an England shirt, in the 1-1 draw at Wembley in May with the Republic of Ireland, but manager Roy Hodgson is pleased to have the pair back after England failed to breach the Ukrainian defence in their last outing.
England remain unbeaten in the group, but know they need at least one victory in the next two games to confirm their place in Brazil next year and avoid a play off or even worse, miss out completely.
But Liverpool skipper Gerrard is confident that the pair have the ability to see them through. “The potential in that partnership is frightening. They are both very skilful, they can both create and they can both score. All the boxes are ticked. They just have to prove they can make it happen. That is the most difficult thing but I have belief in both of them.”
The midfielder, who made his debut for England in 2000, is under no illusions about the task the squad face over the coming week. England entertain a Montenegro side on Friday that they have failed to beat in the last three meetings, recording three draws.
“I think they will come here to try and spoil,” Gerrard said. “They will come for a point because that keeps them in the race. They will try and slow the game down and break it up. We want the opposite. We want it to flow and score early. We want a high tempo. That is why it is such a very intriguing game.”
England then face Poland at Wembley on Tuesday in a game that could decide if the squad will be taking part in Brazil 2014, and the 33 year old who has 20 international goals to his name, knows that the nation expects. “It doesn’t come any bigger,” Gerrard admitted.
“We are all going to be judged over the next week on whether we get to the World Cup or not. We all realise the pressure is huge. And in that pressure cooker, we need to produce, perform and deliver.”
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