Date: 7th September 2019 at 1:00pm
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West Ham United captain Mark Noble has admitted he would love teammate Declan Rice to earn another England cap on Saturday evening.

The Hammers’ veteran has heaped praise on the young midfielder, who made his England debut last season and went on to earn three caps after the end of the UEFA Nations League.

Speaking to the official West Ham website, Noble was in awe of his midfield partner, backing the 20-year-old to continue making a big impression on Gareth Southgate.

“I’d love Declan Rice to get another England cap tonight,” he said.

“I think he’s more than proved how good he is in that position. He’s great on the ball, he reads the game so well, he makes so many tackles and he does the stuff that nobody really wants to do, which is great.”

The Athletic reported on Friday evening that Rice is expected to start alongside Jordan Henderson and Ross Barkley in midfield for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria at Wembley on Saturday.

OPINION

After the report from The Athletic, it appears as if Noble will get his wish for Rice to continue to make an impression on the international scene. The 20-year-old had to start the Premier League season without his captain alongside him in the heart of midfield, and he looked lost. Against Manchester City on the opening day, Rice was a bystander and helpless as he was easily passed on numerous occasions as he had little support alongside him. In this England side, he should flourish, with the protection of Henderson in midfield, it will give the Hammers’ star the chance to get on the ball and look to start attacks while sitting in front of the back four. As well as averaging 3.5 tackles per game so far this season, Rice has also completed 2.3 interceptions per outing according to WhoScored. The youngster has already highlighted how good he can be for England in the Nations League too, having averaged 54 passes per game in the competition at an impressive success rate of 96.3% [WhoScored]. There is no doubting his ability, and with his club captain behind him, he has all the tools to continue to succeed.