Back Rooney to get goal or assist ahead of red card in Montenegro

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If one thing is for sure as England prepare to face Montenegro in their crunch World Cup qualifier, it is that Wayne Rooney won’t go looking for trouble this time.

His sending off in the 2-2 draw on England’s last visit in 2011 caused Rooney to miss the first two matches of Euro 2012 and much of the talk ahead of the latest trip from the likes of Steven Gerrard and Joleon Lescott state that the striker will be on his best behaviour.

It is 20/1 that Rooney is sent off in Montenegro again and he will almost certainly be targeted by the home defence for a second time, embarking on a physical confrontation of shirt pulling, grappling and general foul play.

Rooney will know better this time around and should be far better equipped in dealing with any red mist if becoming frustrated by such tactics.

Ladbrokes are also offering a market on what will happen to Rooney first in the game and the perfect way to make amends here would be to open the scoring.

It is 7/4 that his first involvement is a goal and he has netted five goals in his four England appearances in the current season.

However, preference is for the 5/1 that he assists a teammate to find the target.

This happened in the 8-0 demolition of San Marino when his touch set up Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and his link-up play could be vital again here.

Punters believing Rooney will have a quiet game on the attacking front can take advantage of a price of 10/3 that he is substituted first, while it is alternatively 9/4 that he sees out the whole 90 minutes.

England currently sit two points behind Montenegro in Group H and a victory would put them in pole position to reach the 2014 World Cup without the need to negotiate a play-off.

It is 4/5 that England beat Montenegro and 1/3 that they do end up topping Group H.

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.