Rooney and Beckham give England concern

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Wayne Rooney, the England striker, could miss the friendly with Denmark at Old Trafford on Sunday after pulling out of Everton's Premiership game at Blackburn last night with flu.

The Everton manager, David Moyes, revealed Rooney could be laid low for several days, putting his participation against the Danes in doubt. Alan Stubbs was also forced to miss the game at Ewood Park through flu and Moyes said other players at Goodison Park affected by the same bug had taken four to five days recover. He added that he would be "surprised" if the 18-year-old striker recovered in time but insisted: "I hope he does because I want him to play for England".

The England coach, Sven Goran Eriksson, is already short of strikers with Michael Owen injured and both James Beattie and Alan Smith overlooked for the 23-man squad to face Denmark.

David Beckham, the England captain, was yesterday reported to have been told by Real Madrid club doctors to rest for 72 hours because of a back injury sustained in the 4-1 away defeat against Sevilla on Sunday.

The Charlton midfielder Claus Jensen has been forced to pull out of Denmark's squad because of a knee injury sustained in the 3-1 win over Fulham at the weekend.

Ahead of the first-leg of their Euro 2004 play-off against the Netherlands at Hampden Park on Saturday, Scotland's main injury worry centres around Gavin Rae. The Dundee midfielder has missed their last three games because of a pulled hamstring and with Paul Lambert and Colin Cameron both injured, the Scotland coach, Berti Vogts, is pinning his hopes on Rae being fit.

The Netherlands coach, Dick Advocaat, has recalled Ruud van Nistelrooy to the squad for the play-off against Scotland. The Manchester United striker was dropped from their final qualifier against Moldova after reacting angrily to being substituted in the 3-1 defeat by the Czech Republic in September.