Uefa World Cup qualifying Tuesday UAE times + TV: England v Slovenia, Scotland v Slovakia
European World Cup qualifying matches in UAE time, with TV info, for Tuesday
• Kazakhstan v Romania, 8pm, Abu Dhabi Sports 3HD
All others 10.45pm
• Czech Republic v Azerbaijan, Abu Dhabi Sports 6HD
• Denmark v Montenegro, Edge Sports HD
• Germany v Northern Ireland, Abu Dhabi Sports 4HD
• Lithuania v Malta
• Norway v San Marino, Abu Dhabi Sports 1HD
• Poland v Armenia, Abu Dhabi Sports 2HD
• Slovakia v Scotland, Abu Dhabi Sports 5HD
• Slovenia v England, Abu Dhabi Sports 3HD
// England’s captain and all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney has been dropped to the bench for the World Cup qualifier away to Slovenia on Tuesday, interim manager Gareth Southgate said.
Manchester United star Rooney dropped back to play as a deep-lying midfielder in England’s 2-0 win over Malta at Wembley on Saturday but was booed by some sections of the home support during a lacklustre display.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will lead the side out in Ljubljana as England look to maintain their perfect start to qualifying, with Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier – a specialist defensive midfielder – starting instead of Rooney.
“It’s very straight forward,” Southgate told reporters in the Slovenian capital on Monday as he explained why Rooney – sitting next to him at a press conference – had been left out.
“We have looked at the way Slovenia play and I knew in my mind the profile of the midfield I wanted to play in this game.
“In no way is it a reflection of Wayne’s performance on Saturday,” former England defender Southgate added, after wielding the axe following just one game in charge.
“He had a lot of the ball, played with great tactical discipline. It’s not an easy decision to take because of the respect I have for him as the captain of this team.”
Rooney, 30, best known as a forward but now increasingly deployed in midfield by England, has faced growing calls to be benched for club and country.
He admitted it hurt to be dropped but said he would fight for his England place.
“I think of course you want to play. I understand and respect the manager’s decision. I will support the players 100 percent and try to help them get three points. I will be ready to come off the bench if needed,” he said.
“I show great pride in playing for my country whether that’s from the start or the bench,” added Rooney, also on the bench for United’s last three matches.
“It’s football. A time comes when you are not the first name on the team sheet. As far as I’m concerned, all I can do is keep working hard.”
Germany meanwhile are not only targeting another win in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland but want a perfect 12 points on the road to Russia with wins in both of their remaining games this year.
Victories away to Norway and at home to the Czech Republic by the same 3-0 scorelines leave Germany top of Group C and the world champions are in no mood to drop points against Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland in Hanover.
A win over the Irish, then a fourth straight victory, at minnows San Marino on November 11, would yield a maximum 12 points from four qualifiers leaving Germany in pole position to qualify for 2018 World Cup.
“We want to do it all again and make sure we have 12 points in November, then we would be in a very comfortable situation in the table,” said defender Mats Hummels.
Slovakia and Scotland meet with the second-placed Scots hoping they can gain points on first-placed England in Group F, Poland look to break out of a three-way deadlock at the top of Group E when they get little-fancied Armenia and surprise winners of their first two matches Azerbaijan look to continue to keep pace with the Germans in Group C against the Czech Republic, who have just one point from their first two contests.
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Updated: October 11, 2016 04:00 AM