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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Wayne Rooney's international farewell drives Wembley ticket rush

England's record scorer with 53 goals expected to be brought on as substitute to claim 120th cap in charity game at Wembley on Thursday

Wayne Rooney's involvement has led to a late rush for tickets over the past week, with an attendance of about 60,000 now predicted. Reuters
Wayne Rooney's involvement has led to a late rush for tickets over the past week, with an attendance of about 60,000 now predicted. Reuters

The English Football Association has sold more than 20,000 tickets for England's friendly against the United States since former captain Wayne Rooney's one-off international comeback was confirmed, an FA spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Rooney, England's record scorer with 53 goals, is expected to be brought on as a substitute to claim his 120th cap in the charity game at Wembley on Thursday.

Rooney's involvement has led to a late rush for tickets over the past week, with an attendance of about 60,000 now predicted.

The charity match will raise funds for the Wayne Rooney Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of disadvantaged children.

"Looking forward to meeting up with the @England squad later today, always a huge honour. An exciting week for @FoundationWR!," Rooney wrote on Twitter before joining Gareth Southgate's squad on Monday.

Rooney, who began his career at Everton, spent 13 seasons at Manchester United.

After a season back at Everton, he moved to the United States to join DC United, helping them to the MLS play-offs in his first campaign.

Southgate is expected to give his first-choice players some rest against the United Stated ahead of an Uefa Nations League clash against Croatia on Sunday.

Tripper out of friendly

Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kieran Trippier was ruled out of England's internationals against the US and Croatia this week due to a groin injury, the English FA confirmed on Tuesday.

Trippier, who scored in England's World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia in July, hobbled off after just 25 minutes of Spurs' 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"Trippier was one of 27 players to report to St. George's Park on Monday but, following assessment over the last 24 hours, it was decided that he'll return to his club to continue rehabilitation," said the FA in a statement.

Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck, who suffered a serious ankle injury in a Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon last week, is the only other withdrawal from the original 28-man squad named by Gareth Southgate.

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Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson did not even travel to join up with Iceland for matches with Belgium and Qatar because of an ankle problem. Reuters
Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson did not even travel to join up with Iceland for matches with Belgium and Qatar because of an ankle problem. Reuters

Injuries to Sigurdsson and Gomes

Meanwhile, Everton pair Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Gomes will spend the international break on Merseyside after injuries ruled them out of duty for their countries.

Sigurdsson did not even travel to join up with Iceland for matches with Belgium and Qatar because of an ankle problem sustained from a tackle by Chelsea's Jorginho at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Gomes, who has played the full 90 minutes in Everton's last three matches after returning from injury, joined up with the Portugal squad but was sent home after it was decided his fitness was not up to the necessary standard for matches against Italy and Poland because of bruising.

"After analysing the tests carried out Monday the health and performance unit considered that Andre Gomes is not able to work with the national team," a statement from the Portugal Football Federation said.

Both players have become key to manager Marco Silva's game plan and the Toffees boss will hope the international break will give them time to recover ahead of the visit of Cardiff on November 24.

"Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Gomes will remain at USM Finch Farm this week to continue treatment for respective injuries sustained in Sunday's 0-0 draw at Chelsea," a statement from Everton said.