London Football News

Dier set to replace Rooney in England side

Eric Dier is set to replace Wayne Rooney in the England side for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier in Slovenia.

Tottenham’s Dier has been given the nod to partner Jordan Henderson in midfield, with Rooney dropping to the bench.

England interim boss Gareth Southgate assessed Dier, who recently had a hamstring problem, in training this morning and is expected to confirm later today that the 22-year-old will start in Ljubljana.

The change comes despite Southgate defending Rooney after the Manchester United man attracted criticism for his performance in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Malta at Wembley.

Southgate said: “The criticism of him is at times unfair. He ploughs on and plays with pride and he captains his country with pride.

“I look back to John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, and in their time with England they took an enormous amount of criticism and yet when you look at the number of caps they got they were the guys that kept turning out.

“They were the ones that really put themselves on the line when some other players would not put themselves forward in those moments and withdrew from squads when the going got tough.”

Saturday’s win in Southgate’s first match in charge left England top of Group F after two games.

He is again expected to deploy Dier’s Spurs team-mate Dele Alli in the number 10 role he impressed in at the weekend.

And Tottenham’s Danny Rose is likely to start at left-back after coming on for the injured Ryan Bertrand against Malta.

Bertrand has been replaced in the squad by Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs.

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