Wayne Rooney to be left out by England in Euro 2012 build-up

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
England's Wayne Rooney
Rooney has scored 28 goals in 73 appearances for England

Wayne Rooney will be left out of manager Fabio Capello's England starting line-up in the build-up to Euro 2012 after he was sent off in Montenegro on Friday.

The striker, 25, will definitely miss his side's first game in the tournament in Poland and Ukraine after kicking Miodrag Dzudovic in the 2-2 draw in Podgorica that confirmed qualification.

And the ban could be extended once European football's governing body Uefa has studied referee Wolfgang Stark's report of the incident, despite Capello and the Football Association hoping Rooney will miss only the opener.

Capello's preparations for England's campaign have been complicated by the absence of his most influential player and he hinted he may exclude the Manchester United striker from his plans for upcoming friendlies to study alternatives before next summer.

The Italian even suggested he might be prepared to leave Rooney out of games at Euro 2012 if his replacements are successful, although this is an unlikely scenario.

He will definitely miss the visit of World Cup holders Spain to Wembley next month, with Capello confirming: "Rooney will not play against Spain - absolutely. I want to test new players, a different style and a new different movement, something different.

"Sometimes he will come on at half-time but not from the start. He will not start. We need to prepare the first 11 who will start the Euros."

And on the possibility of Rooney actually being sidelined for games once the tournament began, he said: "If they [the other players] are good, they will play. In my life as a manager I have put a lot of players on the bench. I always decided who was the best player for me at that moment, at every moment."

Fulham's Bobby Zamora, an unused substitute in Podgorica, is likely to get his chance to stake his claim before Euro 2012 after Darren Bent was preferred on Friday.

Manchester United's Danny Welbeck, Liverpool striker Andy Carroll and Tottenham's Jermain Defoe will also get a chance - while emerging Chelsea youngster Daniel Sturridge is also in Capello's thoughts.

Capello added: "I have got a lot of forwards at this moment, really good forwards, and I need to find the best solution. It will be really interesting because two players I did not select are playing really well.

"I saw the game that Jermain Defoe played against Arsenal and he played really well, ran a lot, pressed a lot. Sturridge is the same. I need to find the solution for the first game, or two games, that Rooney will not play.

"I also wanted to see Zamora and Andy Carroll. This was Andy's third or fourth time with us. Zamora is an interesting player and we need to see him play against some important teams. We will do that."

Capello is hoping Rooney's ban will not be extended. He said: "I hope it's one. I think it will be."

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