Gareth Southgate: Wayne Rooney returning to top form


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England interim manager Gareth Southgate believes captain Wayne Rooney is returning to top form ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland.

The Manchester United ace has struggled to find his best form for both club and country this season, starting just six Premier League games for the Red Devils, while he was also a substitute in the Three Lions last match against Slovenia in October.

The 31-year-old will definitely return to England’s starting line-up for Friday’s clash at Wembley Stadium, with Southgate confirming that he believes his skipper is returning to the top of his game.

“He doesn’t have anything to prove to me. He is a big-game player with big-match experience and I think a night like tomorrow is perfect for him,” Southgate said.

“Part of being a top professional for years is that you have to grind the difficult moments out.

There’s matches and periods where you know you are not at your best and they’re games you have to grind out and play your part for the team.

“And then there’s other moments where you start to get into a flow and everything is happening more naturally. To me, he looks like he is just heading into that period, which is great for us.”

Rooney has started United’s last two matches, scoring against Fenerbahce in the Europa League and providing two assists in last weekend’s 3-1 Premier League triumph over Swansea.

The former Everton man will be hoping to replicate that improved form for his country and he is priced at 2.30 to score anytime during Friday night’s contest.

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