England vs Italy: Team-line ups – Rooney, Jones and Smalling start

by Sam Peoples

England starting XI: Hart, Clyne, Smalling, Jagielka, Gibbs, Henderson, Jones, Delph, Rooney (C), Kane, Walcott

Wayne Rooney, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all start for England tonight in their friendly against Italy.

Manchester United fans will be happy to see Michael Carrick getting a rest ahead of this weekend’s fixture against Aston Villa but they will be equally as confused by Roy Hodgson’s choice of positions.

Jones starts at the bottom of a midfield diamond despite his excellent form in the centre-back role with Man United and Rooney has been pushed back into the no.10 spot to accommodate Harry Kane and Theo Walcott up front.


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Given how well Rooney has been playing in the striker role, it’s a strange decision from Hodgson.

That being said, United fans won’t be too fussed about where the likes of Rooney and Jones play so long as there are no injuries from the game.

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