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Euro 2012: Rooney to play against Ukraine, says coach

Euro 2012: Rooney to play against Ukraine, says coach

Kiev: Wayne Rooney will return to England's starting lineup against Ukraine Tuesday, England coach Roy Hodgson said after his team's 3-2 win over Sweden.

Rooney missed Friday's Sweden game and the opening 1-1 draw with France with suspension after he was sent off against Montenegro in a qualifying game.

"Wayne Rooney is a very special player, so it would be very difficult for me to leave him out of the team," Hodgson said.

The England attack will be rebuilt around Rooney, Hodgson said, despite the success enjoyed against Sweden by target man Andy Carroll and Rooney's Manchester United teammate Danny Welbeck, both of whom scored.

"He will play in his position as a striker, sometimes a striker who drops deep."

Ashley Young played in a similar role against France, but will now revert to a more typical role on the wing for Tuesday's game against Ukraine, he added.

Rooney's return will make it difficult for Hodgson to choose an England strike partnership after Welbeck and Carroll's performances but this is no bad thing, he said.

"I welcome those type of selection problems."

England play Ukraine knowing that a draw against the co-hosts will be enough to secure a place in the quarterfinals.


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