Leicester man stands to cash in for Rooney-less England


Conspiracy theories that Wayne Rooney may miss England’s match against Estonia because he’s actually laying low after the revelation that he’s a regular love poet, rather than injured, are yet to get off the ground.

Nonetheless, the England captain was one of three players to miss training on Tuesday ahead of Friday’s Euro 2016 qualifier, leaving Roy Hodgson drawing up alternative plans for his strikeforce at Wembley.

With Danny Ings, who has scored three goals in his last five Liverpool games, also suffering from a knock, the England boss’ options are thinning rapidly.

Theo Walcott, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are the three fully-fit strikers in the squad at present and are fighting for one starting spot as the central striker, assuming the Three Lions manager continues his recent 4-3-3 preference.

Walcott has assumed main-man duties at Arsenal over Olivier Giroud this term and is progressing in the position. He only has four goals in 11 all-competition outings for the Gunners, but was credited for his role in the recent 3-0 win over Manchester United.

He would provide more pace than his two rivals, although Harry Kane could arguably be described as Rooney’s official understudy.

The Spurs striker has made four England appearances since his debut last season and scored in both internationals during the last break. However, the youngster has had widely-reported issues relocating the form that saw him score over 30 goals for the Lilywhites last season.

If form is the main selection criteria for Hodgson, then Vardy is the undeniable answer. The Leicester star is the Premier League’s leading scorer with seven and is the biggest unknown quantity ahead of the summer tournament.

If Hodgson is seriously considering taking him to France, then he will need to be handed more starts to see whether he is up to the task. His blinding recent form doesn’t make him a cursory selection either.

Even with doubts lingering over their skipper’s fitness, Ladbrokes make England 2/15 certainties to retain their 100 percent record in Group E.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.