Find out how icon Wayne Rooney will be used in England send off

Mark Mann-Bryans 21:13 07/11/2018
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Wayne Rooney is expected to make a late substitute appearance in the England friendly named in honour of his charity, Press Association Sport understands.

The decision to award Rooney a 120th cap in the November 15 international against the United States, in appreciation of his commitment to the Three Lions, has split opinion.

The former England captain has not represented his country for almost two years but the game at Wembley has been branded the Wayne Rooney Foundation International, with the football Association helping to promote his charity.

It is believed that Rooney, 33, is not due to start the game, nor will he be given his usual number 10 shirt for the occasion – with his appearance on the bench also meaning it is unlikely he will wear the captain’s armband on his return.

The FA announced on Tuesday that none of the gate receipts will be donated to Rooney’s charity but that supporters will be given the option to donate when they purchase tickets for next Thursday’s game.

There will also be silent auctions in the hospitality areas and a text-to-donate number will be advertised throughout the 90 minutes, with the FA also promoting awareness of the causes supported by Rooney’s foundation.

Rooney’s controversial comeback aside – there are plenty of other selection issues facing manager Gareth Southgate.

While the DC United forward will play some part against the USA, Rooney will not be considered for selection for the Nations League clash against Croatia three days later.

Following the 3-2 win in Seville last month, Southgate’s side must now wait on the outcome of the clash between Group 4 rivals Spain and Croatia to discover what is riding on their final fixture in the inaugural competition – with qualification to the finals or relegation to League B both still possible.

Southgate is likely to stick with the core of the squad which achieved a draw in Croatia and then a memorable victory over Spain.

Luke Shaw and Danny Welbeck will hope to win call-ups despite having to withdraw from the previous squad through injury.

Tottenham left-back Danny Rose also pulled out with a groin injury but has not featured since, so Leicester’s Ben Chilwell should retain his place in the side after impressing in the back-to-back October internationals.

The main bone of contention, once again for Southgate, will be how many younger players are called into the senior set-up.

James Maddison and Mason Mount remain uncapped despite being in the squad last month, while Jadon Sancho became the first player born since 2000 to play for the Three Lions when he came on in Croatia.

The Borussia Dortmund forward is expected to remain in Southgate’s squad given he has gone from strength to strength in recent weeks – hitting four goals in his five games since the last international break.

Another young Englishman impressing in the Bundesliga in Arsenal’s on-loan winger Reiss Nelson.

A friend of Sancho’s, the 18-year-old has scored five times since moving to Hoffenheim for the season and he could land his first senior call-up.

Closer to home, Manchester City prospect Phil Foden continues to attract suitors but his lack of minutes could again see him miss out, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s Europa League hat-trick against BATE Borisov may earn the Chelsea midfielder a recall.

The chances of such young talent making the cut this time around depend largely on whether Dele Alli, Adam Lallana and Jesse Lingard – all injured previously – are deemed fit enough to return to the fold.

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson is earning plenty of plaudits and only Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Eden Hazard boast more than the six Premier League goals he has scored this season.

The 26-year-old picked up a solitary under-21 cap in 2014 but could have done enough.

Jordan Pickford will maintain his place as first-choice goalkeeper but Fulham’s Marcus Bettinelli could be dropped having fallen out of favour at struggling Fulham.

Southgate has been consistent in many areas but has called up a host of central defenders in recent squads.

Lewis Dunk, the uncapped Brighton man, was the latest in a long line of call-ups as he replaced the injured James Tarkowski last month.

The likes of Alfie Mawson, Phil Jones and Michael Keane have also featured in the last 12 months without making the squad to face Spain and Croatia.

If Southgate wants to look at more options, Wolves captain Conor Coady and Rob Holding of Arsenal have caught the eye of late.

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