Rooney retained, dropped to deep midfield role in Southgate’s first England team

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

UPDATE: The lineup is as listed below; the headline of this post has been updated to reflect as such.

The Gareth Southgate era is, for better or for worse, set to kick off on Saturday (12 p.m. ET), as England take on Malta at Wembley Stadium.

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Kickoff is more than three hours away, as of the writing of this post, but Southgate’s first England lineup has been leaked to the public.

According to the leaked lineup, captain Wayne Rooney has retained his place in the starting starting XI, but will be deployed in a deeper midfield role, playing as the no. 6, alongside Jordan Henderson. It’s a position Rooney has willingly played on numerous occasions, for club and country, but one at which he doesn’t particularly excel.

Elsewhere in the lineup, Danny Rose has been dropped to the bench with Ryan Bertrand taking his place at left back. Joe Hart remains the starter in goal following his loan move to Torino, which is mission accomplished for him.

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Jesse Lingard is expected to be handed his senior international debut, opposite Theo Walcott who takes up the right wing, with Dele Alli the no. 10, and Daniel Sturridge playing as a lone striker in Harry Kane‘s injury absence.


Walker — Cahill — Stone — Bertrand

Henderson — Rooney

Walcott — Alli — Lingard