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Predicting the XI: Rooney reinstalled in last-chance saloon

| 18.06.2014

It’s widely believed that an adventurous England side were unlucky to lose their opening game against a slightly wilier Italian outfit.

What Three Lions fans are less unanimous about is whether or not Wayne Rooney deserves his place in the starting line-up for England’s winner-takes-all game against Uruguay – which Roy Hodgson’s men are 6/5 favourites to win.

Well, we’ve made our bed in this particular debate by including Wazza in our predictive England starting line-up for this momentous clash.


In a rare change of direction we’ll start the rundown from the front, as that’s where the main arguments are raging.

A goal on World Cup debut for Daniel Sturridge makes the Liverpool man as immovable as Stonehenge up top.

However, the next three slots facing Studger’s derriere have got the country in ribbons.

Like true turnips we’ve gone with former England boss Graham Taylor in giving Rooney one final World Cup chance to work his magic from his favoured number 10 slot.

Raheem Sterling, England’s brightest performer against Italy, is installed on the left to provide forward thrust and defensive cover for Leighton Baines, while Danny Welbeck plays off the right.

Although Everton’s mod-haired left-back looked a fish out of water against Italy, like Rooney he retains his position in order to prove himself, with Luke Shaw deemed too green for a starting berth.

The rest of Baines’ defensive colleagues will also get a chance to banish that bruising defeat to the Azzurri as continuity at the back is vital.

Meanwhile, the understated Jordan Henderson gets another nod next to his Liverpool and England skipper Steven Gerrard.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.