Jun 14, 2014 at 11pm UK at ​Arena Amazonia, Manaus
England
1-2
Italy
Sturridge (37')
Sterling (90')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Marchisio (35'), Balotelli (50')

Neil Lennon: 'England need Rooney'

Celtic manager Neil Lennon prior to kick-off during the Champions League match against Barcelona on October 1, 2013
© Getty Images
Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon says that England need Wayne Rooney to be at his best if Roy Hodgson's side are to beat Italy.

Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon has claimed that England need Wayne Rooney to be at his best if Roy Hodgson's side are to beat Italy this evening.

Rooney's place has been called into question in recent weeks, but Lennon has said that the Manchester United forward is key to his country's chances in their World Cup opener against the 2006 winners.

"There's a big onus on Wayne Rooney tonight. He's a big-game player and that's what England are going to need," he told BBC Sport.

"There's been a lot of pressure on him, unjustifiably so, because he's a top player.

"I think it's going to be cautious game to start with but I think it will open up as the heat has an effect."

Rooney has never scored at a World Cup.

England manager Roy Hodgson looks on at the start of the international friendly football match between England and Scotland on August 14, 2013
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