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England and Manchester United hitman Wayne Rooney has shrugged off suggestions that he and Michael Owen are too similar to play alongside each other...

Three Lions star Wayne Rooney feels that he and Michael Owen will comprise an effective international partnership.

Steve McClaren, the embattled England coach, could well field the two together against Israel on Saturday, with some feeling that the two are too similar to cooperate.

Rooney, though, is looking forward to the chance to prove the doubters wrong.

"Michael's a great player and the goals he scores are unbelievable," enthused the former Everton man.

"I'm happy playing alongside Michael because I know he's always looking to get in behind [the defence].

"He's a great player and he's fairly easy to play with.

"Owen's fitness? As a player you know your body better than anyone else. If you feel you are fit to play, then you should be fit to play.

"I've been training with Michael and he seems fit to play."

Rooney, who has scored 12 goals for England in 38 appearances, is set to capitalise from the unfortunate injury to Emile Heskey, who recently fought his way back into international consideration.

Reflecting on the last two games, Rooney said, "We played really well and Emile was brilliant. If he was fit then the manager would have had a difficult decision as to who he played up front.

"But I know that if I play, I'll have to play well to keep my place."

England sit second in Group E, three points behind Croatia.
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