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Predicted England XI vs. USA: Wayne Rooney to start on bench

Predicted England XI vs. USA: Wayne Rooney to start on bench

Sports Mole looks at how England could line up for Wayne Rooney’s farewell appearance as they host USA in an international friendly at Wembley.

All eyes will be on the returning Wayne Rooney when England take on USA in an international friendly at Wembley on Thursday night.

The Three Lions fans will have the chance to bid farewell to their record goalscorer as he wins his 120th and final cap in a game which will also be used to raise money for his charity.

Manager Gareth Southgate is keen to continue building towards the future as well as honouring the past, though, and there is plenty of room for experimentation within his squad ahead of Sunday’s UEFA Nations League clash with Croatia.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how England could line up against USA.


It has already been confirmed that Rooney will only play a bit-part role in the game as a second-half sub, which means that the new captain and star striker Harry Kane is expected to lead the line from the start.

Raheem Sterling finally showed signs of carrying his club goalscoring form into the international scene with a brace during the famous win over Spain last month and should be included for this match too, while Southgate could also look to hand a first start to exciting Borussia Dortmund youngster Jadon Sancho.

Callum Wilson may have to settle for a debut off the bench at best, while in midfield Southgate may be cautious with the likes of Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli considering their recent injury troubles.

Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be rewarded for their good club form, and the same is true for Joe Gomez in defence while Liverpool teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold is also pushing for a start at right-back after Kieran Trippier‘s withdrawal.

Jordan Pickford could be among the players to be held back ahead of Sunday’s match against Croatia, but Marcus Bettinelli and Alex McCarthy may still have to wait for their own England debuts.

James Maddison in action for Leicester City on August 18, 2018

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