Rooney Keen To Avoid Swiss Defeat


England captain Wayne Rooney is wary of giving Switzerland the initiative in their Euro 2016 qualifying group.

The sides face each other in their opening qualifier on Monday and are regarded as the two strongest teams in Group E, which also includes Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino.

“It is important to try to win,” said 28-year-old striker Rooney.

“But I think not to get beat and give Switzerland the upper hand from the first game is vital.”

England, who are 11 places lower than ninth-placed Switzerland in the world rankings, will be without striker Daniel Sturridge for the game because he has a thigh problem.

Goalkeeper Ben Foster and uncapped midfielder Jack Colback have also been forced to withdraw from manager Roy Hodgson's squad with injuries.

England go into the game at St Jakob-Park in Basel on the back of a 1-0 friendly win against Norway at Wembley, with Rooney getting the winner from the penalty spot.

However, after their early exit from the World Cup without winning a game, the match attracted the lowest crowd for an international at home since the national stadium re-opened in 2007.

But Rooney said: “It's exciting times.
“The lads who were at that tournament have gained vital experience.”