England vs Slovenia: FA hoping for over 80,000 at Wembley as fans return to see Wayne Rooney collect 100th cap

The Three Lions' captain looks set to receive the accolade in front of a bumper crowd despite just over 40,000 turning out for the game against Norway

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The Independent Online

A bumper crowd of over 80,000 people will watch England take on Slovenia at Wembley a week on Saturday.

Supporters responded to England's dismal summer by staying away from their first post-World Cup match against Norway in September.

A record low crowd of 40,181 attended the match, but there was an improvement when England faced San Marino the following month and Press Association Sport understands the Football Association is expecting a big turn-out for the Three Lions' next game against Slovenia.

Ticket sales have risen for a number of reasons. Firstly, the FA thinks England's 100 per cent record since their World Cup exit has stimulated interest in the national side again.

 

The timing of the game, which kicks off at 1700, has also helped swell the numbers. The fact that Wayne Rooney is set to win his 100th cap in the match may also be a factor.

On Monday, manager Roy Hodgson and his squad, which is named on Thursday, will meet at St George's Park to begin preparations for the Slovenia game, and the friendly against Scotland, which takes place three days later.

On Armistice Day, the squad will pay their respects to Britain's fallen war heroes by observing two minutes' silence behind a banner that reads 'Football Remembers'.

Later that day, Hodgson and Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate will lead an FA delegation to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Although public interest in the Scotland game, which takes place in Glasgow, will be greater than for the qualifier against Slovenia, Hodgson views the first fixture as a more important occasion.

Wayne-Rooney.jpg
Wayne Rooney in action for England

The England manager wants his team to go through their Euro 2016 qualifying group with a 100 per cent record and he will therefore consider rotating his squad for the trip to Celtic Park.

Hodgson admits the Scotland match will be a big test for any inexperienced player due to the hostile atmosphere that awaits.

"In the friendly matches we tend to use, more than the qualifiers, some of the players who haven't really had their hands on a shirt," the England manager said on http://www.thefa.com.

"We give them a chance, because they are competing with someone who is firmly established in their position.

"But in the friendlies we tend to give those players a chance to show what they can do at the top level.

"It will be a very interesting baptism of fire if they come through.

"The teams we've been playing lately don't provide that type of opposition, so we need to prove ourselves."

Hodgson, meanwhile, will receive a lifetime achievement from his old club Malmo on Tuesday prior to their Champions League game against Atletico Madrid.

The 67-year-old led the club to five Swedish titles in a row in the 1980s.

PA

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