Wayne Rooney will captain England against San Marino

 

WORLD CUP QUALIFIER: ENGLAND v SAN MARINO

  • Venue: Wembley Stadium
  • Date: Friday 12 October
  • Kick-off: 20:00 BST

Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC website

Wayne Rooney will captain England in Friday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino in front of a capacity 90,000 crowd at Wembley.

The Manchester United forward, 26, takes the role because of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard's respective absences through suspension and injury.

Rooney, who has won 76 caps, said: "This is something I'm really proud of.

"It's a big challenge for myself, and I'm excited. Hopefully we can cap the day off with a good victory."

Last meeting

"I had dreamt about it but I never thought it would happen. It was so hard for us to score against anybody, let alone a team as big as England" - Davide Gualtieri about his goal for San Marino against Graham Taylor's England in 1993

Rooney is aware of the importance of putting on a good performance against a side ranked joint worst in the world, at 207th, alongside Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

"The players don't want to let the fans down," he continued.

"The fans, since I've been involved with England, have been fantastic. They follow us around the world. We're looking forward to the game and hopefully we can deliver for the fans."

Two goals for Rooney would lift him clear into fifth place on England's all-time goalscoring list, going past Sir Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer.

"People have mentioned I will get into the top five (goalscorers) if I get a couple more and that would be great," he added.

"Obviously, the result is more important but it's an opportunity for us to try and get a few goals."

England's top goal scorers

49: Sir Bobby Charlton

48: Gary Lineker

44: Jimmy Greaves

40: Michael Owen

30: Sir Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse, Alan Shearer

29: Wayne Rooney

England manager Roy Hodgson is similarly enthused by the sell-out crowd at Wembley.

"It shows the support there is for the national team football in this country, and how lucky we are to have an arena that takes 90,000 people," he said.

Hodgson did not appear overly concerned by San Marino, who have won only one and drawn five of their 114 internationals, conceding 473 goals.

He refused to say who is in the starting XI but did reveal that next week's trip to Warsaw will influence his selection.

"We have a very important [World Cup qualifying] game in Poland on Tuesday, so of course a lot of my thoughts are how best to use my squad," he added.

"I know whatever team I choose at Wembley is likely to win the game."

Rooney previously captained England in a 1-0 defeat by Brazil in November 2009 in place of the then injured and now retired John Terry.

Meanwhile, Hodgson said that although Ryan Bertrand should not have sworn on Twitter, it showed his heart was in the right place.

San Marino's all-time record

P114

W1

D 5

L108

F19

A473

The Chelsea defender angrily contradicted the FA's suggestion he had been withdrawn from the squad because of a sore throat, but subsequently apologised for swearing on the social media site.

"What he was saying is quite laudable," said Hodgson.

"He really wants to play for England and is really angry it has been suggested it is merely a sore throat when he is actually quite ill. But he shouldn't use a swear word.

"He has already apologised for it but it goes to show what a problem we will all have with Twitter."