Gareth Southgate Wayne Rooney England
Gareth Southgate and Wayne Rooney during an England training session, October 7, 2016Reuters

England will hope to move on from the Sam Allardyce saga by turning the focus back on on-field issues when they host Malta in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Saturday. With a win, in Allardyce's only game in charge, already in the bag, the team now managed by Gareth Southgate will be confident of making it two victories in two matches.

As much as the off-field issues might have affected the players, they will know Malta are a team they should be beating comfortably. England are the 10th ranked team in the world, while Malta are 157, which only emphasises the huge gulf between the two teams.

With Southgate given the reins for England's next four matches, before the FA decide on a permanent manager, the players will want to give their new boss the best start possible.

"This is a game where we know we're going to have a lot of the ball," Southgate said. "In the last few matches, Malta have had probably 35, 40 percent of the ball so I expect us to be controlling the game.

"We're going to need to show patience and stick to our principles of playing. Maybe we can get an early goal, but maybe we don't – and then it's even more important that we're sticking to the style.

"I want us to be brave with the ball. One of the thing I've wanted to get across to the players this week is that I want to see an England team that is brave in possession of the ball and prepared to take chances, prepared to take risks in one-v-one situations even though I know they won't always succeed in those moments."

Brave is not something England have been associated with in the recent past, with the Iceland defeat in Euro 2016 perfectly encapsulating the team's penchant to crumble under the pressure. The qualifiers, however, pose a much easier challenge, which is why, England, in recent years, have done well in this phase.

One of the players who will be keen to make an impression will be Wayne Rooney, even if the captain will know he is in a bit of a lose-lose situation with this game. If he has a good match, where he scores and gives assists, the narrative is bound to be "Oh, it was only Malta," while if he struggles, like he has in recent times, then the naysayers will have no hesitation in using those critical pens of theirs.

The only thing Rooney can do is put on a competent performance and ensure he leads England to a victory over Malta, who began their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with a 5-1 defeat to Scotland.

Where to Watch Live

England vs Malta World Cup qualifier is set to begin at 5pm BST (9.30pm IST, 12pmET). All the live stream and TV information for the match is below.

India: TV: Sony Six/HD. Live Streaming: Sonyliv.

UK: TV: ITV1. Live Streaming: ITV Hub.

USA: TV: ESPN 3. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.

Canada: TV: Sportsnet.

Singapore: TV: Eleven.

Malaysia: TV: Astro SuperSport.

China: TV: CCTV.

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