By Alex Stevens

Daniel Sturridge spearheads the England attack in their World Cup qualifier against Malta on Saturday evening, according to a reliable journalist.

Daily Mail football writer Sami Mokbel claimed on his personal Twitter account over hours before kick-off that the Liverpool striker had been given the nod by interim manager Gareth Southgate.

Mokbel claims that Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford misses out despite a clamour in some quarters for his inclusion.

Wembley is sold out for the first of Southgate’s four games in charge against Malta and he is committed to naming an attacking line-up, with captain Wayne Rooney starting in midfield.

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott will be rewarded for his flying start to the season, Sturridge is set to spearhead a 4-3-3 formation and Dele Alli will start after coming off the bench in Slovakia.

This means that Wayne Rooney is expected to be handed a deeper role in central midfield, a position he played with mixed success in the summer’s European Championships.

Sturridge will reportedly start in the absence of Harry Kane, who is sidelined with ankle ligament damage, and ahead of Rashford and Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.

This comes even though Sturridge has been on the Liverpool fringes this season, with Roberto Firmino the first-choice spearhead of the attack.

In other Liverpool team news, fans have reacted on Twitter to Roberto Firmino’s display for Brazil.