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Zaha set for England call

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08 Aug 2013 01:32:04

Zaha set for England call

Wilfried Zaha is expected to earn his second England call-up on Thursday when Roy Hodgson announces his squad to face Scotland, but it is unclear whether he will be joined by his Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney.

Next Wednesday the oldest fixture in international football returns as England face Scotland at Wembley.

Rooney is one of the few players at Hodgson's disposal capable of producing the kind of magic Paul Gascoigne pulled out of the bag when he brought the Wembley crowd to their feet against the Scots at Euro 96.

But given Rooney's recent injury problems, he may not be included in Hodgson's squad when it is announced at 2pm on Thursday.

Rooney, who has been the subject of two unsuccessful bids from Chelsea this summer, has not played in pre-season due to first a hamstring injury and then a shoulder problem.

United manager David Moyes on Tuesday night cast doubt over whether 27-year-old would be fit for Rio Ferdinand's testimonial on Friday, and possibly even the Community Shield clash against Wigan on Sunday, so should Hodgson select the striker he could well link up with the national squad having not kicked a ball in anger so far this summer.

While Hodgson will put more importance on next month's huge qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, it is safe to say the England manager could do with his leading talisman being fit for next week because a series of injuries has reduced his attacking options.

Andy Carroll is out until September with a heel injury, Jermain Defoe is a doubt because of a hamstring niggle, while Daniel Sturridge only returned to training with Liverpool on Monday after his pre-season was blighted by an ankle problem he suffered against the Republic of Ireland in May.

One person who will benefit from the striker shortage is Zaha, who moved to Manchester United from Crystal Palace in the summer.

The 20-year-old came off the bench to make his England debut against Sweden last November and he has impressed enough for Manchester United in pre-season to get another call-up to the senior squad, where he will be joined by Hodgson's only other fit regular striker Danny Welbeck.


PA

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