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Michael Owen believes the return of Wayne Rooney as his strike partner can boost his and England’s World Cup form.

Roooney will return to England’s starting line-up for Tuesday’s encounter with Sweden.

Owen has struggled so far, but he said: “You would have thought there won’t be so many long balls with Wayne back. We might keep it on the deck a bit more.

“If we’re playing well, I will look as good as ever. I’m as sharp as ever.”

Owen and Rooney will play up front, with Peter Crouch dropping down to the bench.

“I’ve got a lot of self-belief,” added Owen. “You’ve not seen it because we’re not firing on all cylinders at the moment.

“I’m the person who takes the brunt of it because I’m the furthest forward.

“There’s no point me changing my game to try and be something different. Things can turn around quickly. It’s not like I’m on a long drought or anything.

“Only a few games ago, I hardly had a touch against Argentina and scored two. That shows you what can happen.”

Rooney played 33 minutes as a substitute against Trinidad and Tobago and showed no adverse reaction after his metatarsal injury.

“The medical people say he can play more than 45 minutes, so if that is the case it is better he starts the game,” said England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

England defender John Terry, meanwhile, believes Rooney will soon be back to his best.

“Marking Rooney is a nightmare and he is looking sharp and ready to go,” he said.

“Rooney would tell you he had 160 minutes in him as long as he playing, his touch is good and he looks sharp.”

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