Rooney needs to conjure Champions League knock-out form
England talisman Wayne Rooney has completed a light training session this morning – less than 24 hours after being substituted with fears of an aggravated ankle injury.
He’s slipped to 33/1 to win the tournament’s Golden Shoe.
The sight of an injured Wayne Rooney trudging off, with 20 minutes left of England’s crucial group game against Slovenia, did not invoke the panic that erupted on the last two occasions he left the field early at major tournaments, though.
That the striker worked out in the gym this morning along with the other players is reassuring but the fact remains that after three games England’s great hope at this World Cup still hasn’t scored.
Rooney, who bagged 34 goals in all competitions for Manchester United last season and netted nine times during World Cup qualifying, couldn’t breach the mighty defences of USA, Algeria or Slovenia.
At 7/2, he’s now third-favourite behind Jermain Defoe (5/4) and Steven Gerrard (7/4) to be England’s top goal-getter at the tournament.
However, bettors could find value in that price, given the other two have only scored one each – a total surpassable in a single good game – and given the propensity with which Rooney scores his goals in spurts.
Indeed, last year he failed to notch in any of his club’s Champions League group-stage matches either, before exploding in the knock-out phase with five goals in three and a half games against AC Milan and Bayern Munich.
He’s 11/2 favourite to score first against Germany, a feat he managed in Munich when attacking a defence that included Germany captain Philipp Lahm and left-back Holger Badstuber.
Rooney would likely be a penalty taker in the seemingly inevitable last-16 shoot-out, and while successful conversions don’t count towards overall goal totals, he could help his team to a ground-breaking victory over England’s arch rivals.
It’s a 12/1 shot for England to win by penalties. Germany to win on penalties is 11/1.