Manchester City star backs Wayne Rooney to score v San Marino

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James Milner has backed his club rival to climb into third place among the top England goalscorers of all time.

Manchester City and England midfielder James Milner has backed Wayne Rooney to surpass Jimmy Greaves on the Three Lions' all-time goalscoring list in the upcoming European Championship qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia.

The England and Manchester United captain scored against Norway last month, taking his goal tally to 41, good enough for fourth among English goalscorers.

Now within three goals off Greaves - who bagged 44 goals in 57 games for his country - Rooney looks set to climb to third on the list with two winnable games on the horizon.

Milner hopes the striker can get the monkey off his back by scoring the required goals during this international period.

"It is a good opportunity for him to get those goals," Milner said in his England press conference. "Maybe it is on his mind and hopefully he can get past it sooner rather than later and just forget about it.

"He has obviously had a fantastic career up to this point and has scored so many goals for us, important goals as well. Hopefully he can get a few more in the next couple of games and for the next few years going forward."

San Marino are first up for England, and fans of the Three Lions will be hoping to see plenty of goals against a side in joint-last place in the FIFA rankings.

Milner has warned the side against complacency, however, and he expects San Marino to put in a stout defensive performance.

"You can't let your standards drop, everyone knows we should win the game but when teams come and sit behind the ball it's never easy," he said.

"It's down to us to break them down, we want to keep improving and move forward. Even though we're against lesser opposition we want to keep improving and play better again if we can. You can only beat what is in front of you."

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