Rooney, Walcott set for England starts

"Yes he will (start)".

Speaking alongside Theo Walcott in the final press conference ahead of the game, Southgate told the media that his team would have his backing to play in a certain style.

Citing Rooney's vast global experience, Allardyce said: "It's not for me to say where he's going to play".

"Whatever partnership plays for England is always a strong one because the training we do and how we work in training is always different combinations so we all know how each other play". "I'm not prepared to give my team to the opposition, but I'm clear in my mind how that will play out", he informed.

Allardyce also expressed an intention to use Rooney further forward, but the player conspicuously took up deep-lying positions during last month's 1-0 win in Slovakia.

Current skipper Wayne Rooney recently announced that it would be the final tournament of his record-breaking global career, with Stones among those mentioned as a possible replacement as captain.

"Wayne Rooney's ability to control the game and his experience". In the last few matches Malta have had 35 or 40 per cent of the ball, so I expect us to control the game, show patience, stick to our principles.

"I honestly am enjoying playing for my club and coming here and playing games and getting caps - it's all that an England player wants, to play for their country". I played where I was asked to play.

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"I love him because he is a cunning player, he gets in the right positions, has good timing", he said.

Walcott was not selected by Roy Hodgson for the European championships, but has returned to the England fold thanks to fine early-season form for Arsenal that has seen him score four goals in his last four games. He said that to me on the plane home.

"We want everyone to stand up and be involved in the game". "One of the most important message for me to get across is that I want them to be courageous and excite the supporters".

Southgate will shortly take his England side to Wembley for the nation's World Cup qualifying clash against Malta, who are ranked 176 in the world, tomorrow night.

The former Middlesbrough boss refused to confirm on Tuesday whether Rooney will start against Malta, indicating holding the captaincy does not mean he will necessarily be picked, per Mark Ogden in The Independent: "I think people can lead without being on the pitch, but I'm not saying that will be the case this weekend".

"I want them to be fearless, I want them to excite the supporters".

"Whether it's Phil Jagielka, Chris Smalling, sometimes you're not going to play and watching from the sidelines, watching those guys, trying to improve off them I suppose".

  • Lawrence Cooper