England boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will start on the substitute’s bench for the friendly against Spain on Friday night.
Hodgson is instead looking to try out different combinations of strikers for the Three Lions as they prepare for the European Championships next summer.
Rooney has struggled for form at Man United this season and there have been calls for him to be dropped from the side.
Hodgson confirmed Rooney will be on the bench against Spain but that he should feature against France next week.
“It would be good if we can spare as many players as possible having to play the two games at this stage of the season,” Hodgson said.
“At the front we’ve got Wayne and Jamie Vardy, we’ve got Harry Kane and Ross Barkley there that interest me. At the back, at centre-back for example, we have interesting combinations, so we are likely to be making changes in that respect.
“We are going to use the two games to look at various combinations of players playing together.
“Wayne won’t start the game tomorrow, for the simple reason we are looking at various combinations among that group of four players. Wayne is pencilled in to play against France on Tuesday. Jamie Vardy is struggling with a knock he picked up on Saturday. We are monitoring it, but it looks unlikely he will be able to play tomorrow.”
Jamie Vardy has been in excellent form in the Premier League in recent weeks and it is likely that he will be the focus for England if fit. Rooney, on the other hand, has been poor. There is no question of him going to the Euros next summer but if he continues his current form, his place might be under threat.