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Rooney to captain England against Scotland

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Wayne Rooney will take the armband for England’s World Cup Qualifier against Scotland on Friday, Gareth Southgate has confirmed.

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Dropped for club and country after a difficult start to the season, the Manchester United star is set to assume the captaincy from Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson in what will be seen as a bold move by the England manager.

The two nations enjoy a fierce rivalry but haven’t met in a competitive fixture since England’s Euro 2000 play-off win back in 1999.

They did, however, face off at Celtic Park two years ago, with Rooney scoring two in a comfortable 3-1 win for Roy Hodgson’s side.

Heading into Friday night’s match as group leaders and heavy favourites, the pressure will be on the Three Lions to perform in front of a sell-out Wembley crowd, but interim boss Southgate believes the experience of the returning Rooney could be the difference for his side.

“He’s in a better place than for the last get-together in terms of sharpness and confidence,” said Southgate.

“He’s an experienced player for a game like this and there is no hesitation to be playing him.

“He is playing well.  “He’s a player when in a rhythm of playing, it helps him.”

 

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