Belfast Telegraph

Capello expecting fab show from Rooney

Fabio Capello is convinced Wayne Rooney's hat-trick against Arsenal last week can provide the perfect medicine for an end to his international goal drought.

England's number one striker heads into tonight's Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia with just one goal to his name in two years.

It is a quite staggering statistic, taking in, as it does, not only the barren year from March 2010 when Rooney's form dipped dramatically, but also the period beforehand which launched his best campaign, bringing him 34 goals for Manchester United.

With a groin injury threatening the participation of Darren Bent and neither Andy Carroll nor Jermain Defoe currently regarded as first choice for their clubs, there could be more pressure than usual on Rooney to perform.

But Capello feels the injection of confidence the 25-year-old gained last weekend leaves him on the verge of making a big impact for the Three Lions.

“Goals are a fantastic medicine for a forward,” said Capello. “Now is a good moment for him.

The big question for Capello is how many of Rooney's Red Devils team-mates he should call upon.

Ashley Young is a certainty and Chris Smalling appears more likely than not to make his England debut.

There is also a growing feeling that Phil Jones may be handed his first cap too as England look to gain the win that would leave them in pole position to qualify as Group G winners.

Belfast Telegraph

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