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Sep 6, 2010

Capello: Rooney will play against Switzerland

England coach Fabio Capello has confirmed Wayne Rooney will play in Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland despite recent allegations about the striker's private life.

• Rooney to remain with England squad
• Soccernet preview: Switzerland v England
• Milner: England will emerge stronger
• Johnson out to become stalwart
• Forum: What now for Rooney?

Rooney was one of England's best performers in their 4-0 victory over Bulgaria on Friday - playing a part in all four goals - however, his place in the team in Basel had come under question after lurid claims in two Sunday newspapers.

The Manchester United frontman travelled with the team to Switzerland, however, and Capello said he was confident the player was in the right state of mind to take his place on Tuesday.

"Yes he will play," Capello said. "During training he was really good and I spoke with him and he's happy to play. I know the players when they want to play - that is really important. Against Bulgaria he was really, really good on the pitch.

"He will also be in a good situation tomorrow. I hope the performance of Rooney tomorrow will be the same as at Wembley. We are focused on the game, not about the private life of the players. We are here to play this game and train very well.''

Skipper Steven Gerrard said he expected Rooney to put the off-field matter to one side as England look to begin their qualification campaign with back-to-back wins.

"Yeah he's got an issue off the pitch put I don't think that will stop him from playing well,'' Gerrard said. "I spoke with him today at lunchtime and in training and Wayne's been fine. He's looking forward to the game and playing well.

"I think football can do that sometimes (help you focus) if you've got an issue of the field. Once the game starts Wayne will be focused on the field and getting the three points.

"Wayne's a big character. You expect big performances from Wayne every time he steps on the pitch. You saw that against Bulgaria. I expect another big performance from Wayne.''

Capello denied he had been more lenient with Rooney than with John Terry, whom he removed as captain following allegations about his private life.

"He was captain,'' the Italian said. "He played in all of the games, I never suspended him."

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