New Delhi: In his 100th match for England, Wayne Rooney will hope to lead his young 'Lions' to glory against Slovenia in the 2016 Euro Qualifiers at the Wembley stadium on Saturday. This marks a crucial time for the skipper, as a victory in his 100th game will be a special feat in his illustrious career.
For the youthful Three Lions, it is Rooney's inspiration they are looking for and the timing is just perfect for the Manchester United skipper to lead his team in a fitting manner. Rooney will be joining the likes of recent inductees Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard in the 100-cap club.
Rooney who has scored 43 goals in his international career needs six more to equal the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton. Manager Roy Hodgson knows how crucial Rooney's form must be to dictate a positive result that could get others stepping up in the right manner.
The United skipper has just scored three goals for his club this season in the Premier League so far, and was also suspended for three games after picking up a red card against West Ham United earlier in October. After his comeback against City, Rooney looked rather ineffective for most part of the game.
Against Crystal Palace, United were flat and unimpressive. Rooney who dropped back on most part of the game, was impotent with his passes and was sloppy on the ball on numerous occasions. Rooney's form has diminished largely, and off late he has failed to live up to the standards one expects from him.
The 100th match can well be a turning point for Rooney in how he shapes up his performance that can be crucial for England and United's fortunes in the coming time. Hodgson's men have won three out of three matches in the Euro qualifiers campaign, and a win on Saturday could see them solidify their position atop Group E.
England who have a series of injuries at the back, will also be without the services of Daniel Sturridge. Reports suggest that several players including the likes of Gary Cahill, Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Andros Townsend picked up knocks during the weekend and will be analysed by the medical team. While the return of Steven Downing and Theo Walcott will be vital, Rooney will hope to get his injury-ridden team past the barrier and get closer to qualification.
Come Saturday when he will be presented with a golden cap from Sir Bobby Charlton for his feat, Rooney will be the cynosure of all eyes and a good performance could sum up a perfect night for a man who will be eager to step up.