Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard believes Roy Hodgson’s side can cope with the loss of Wayne Rooney and expects to progress from the group stages.

 

Rooney will be absent from the first two games, against France and Sweden, after getting sent off in the final group game against Montenegro but Gerrard thinks the squad is good enough to handle the Manchester United player’s absence.

 

The ban was originally three matches, but the UEFA disciplinary panel reduced it to two on appeal, meaning he will only be allowed to play in the final Group D game against hosts Ukraine.

 

“Wayne [Rooney] is a world class player. Any team would suffer after the loss of such a player,” Gerrard told French website RMC.

"So yes, we will miss him. But we hope it will go well without him and we can do the job. In any case, we expect to reach the quarter-finals.”

 

Despite Gerrard’s confidence, Rooney’s suspension has given Hodgson a selection headache up front for the meeting with Les Bleus.

 

Ashley Young and Andy Carroll were used in the previous warm-up friendly against Norway, but there are a number of combinations he could opt for.

 

The opening fixture with France is on Monday, June 11 and is being held at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine.

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