We don’t need Rooney to get past Moldova, says Walcott

Frank Dalleres
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ENGLAND winger Theo Walcott has urged the national team’s new recruits to seize their chance against Moldova on Friday and help ease World Cup qualification fears.

Roy Hodgson’s side are without main goal threat Wayne Rooney, while in-form Daniel Sturridge and midfielder Jack Wilshere were not well enough to train yesterday.

Tottenham’s Andros Townsend and Everton’s Ross Barkley could make debuts in a Wembley fixture England must win to retain realistic hopes of automatic qualification.

“Wayne is an absolutely fantastic talent but players now have the opportunity to show what they can do and I think we’ll be absolutely fine,” said Arsenal’s Walcott.

“Hopefully Sturridge can shake off his injury and Rickie [Lambert] and Danny [Welbeck] have started the season well.

“There are chances there to be taken. There’s a good balance in the team now and that has started to show at Wembley. It’s only going to be positive when you see these youngsters coming through.”

Sturridge, who has five goals in four games for Liverpool this season, has a slight thigh injury, while Wilshere has a stomach bug that forced him to abandon Arsenal’s clash with Tottenham on Sunday.

England’s visit from Moldova, who they beat 5-0 away, is followed by their toughest remaining fixture, against Ukraine in Kiev on Tuesday.