Starting role for Rooney
18 Jun 2006 - 15:39:38
England will have Wayne Rooney in their starting line-up for Tuesday's Group B clash with Sweden after the Manchester United star came through 32 minutes of the Trinidad & Tobago match unscathed.
The 20-year-old came on as a second-half substitute for Michael Owen against the Soca Warriors less than seven weeks after breaking a metatarsal playing for United against Chelsea.
"The medical people say he can play more than 45 minutes, so if that is the case then it is better he starts," England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson told ITV1.
"He is very important, of course. He is a fantastic player, he is that type of link player between strikers and midfield which we really need.
"We saw when he came on, that maybe he's not 100 per cent but he kept the ball up there, did some clever movements and clever passes."
Rooney is expected to partner Owen in attack as Peter Crouch was booked in the 1-0 win against Paraguay and will be suspended for the second round game with either Germany of Ecuador if he picks up another yellow card.
England need a draw against Sweden to ensure they finish top of Group B and they would then play the runners-up in Group A next weekend.