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Moldova take confidence from Rooney absence

Moldova assistant manager Ion Testemitanu believes his side have a chance against England on Friday because of the absence of Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll. The striker will miss the World Cup qualifier because of injury.

"Rooney not playing is very, very big for us - we are very lucky," Testemitanu, who played for Bristol City from 1998 to 2001, told BBC Sport.

"Andy Carroll not playing is also good news. We have a chance now. Anyone can win on any day."

Moldova are 141st in the Fifa rankings - 138 places below England.

"We are realistic and understand who England are and will be careful from the first minute to the 90th," he said.

"England are always very good - there are no secrets. I saw how they played at Euro 2012 and was impressed.

"We are a young team and a young country, with a population of only four million."

In the absence of Rooney, Testemitanu thinks skipper Steven Gerrard will be the key player for England.

"I think he is the best player in the team," he said. "Gerrard is the captain and leader and makes key passes and shots. In every game he shows that he is still a top player."

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Dave Williams

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