BASEL, Switzerland -- Wayne Rooney needs to be strong and keep his troubled personal life separate from his job as a footballer -- starting in England's European Championship qualifier against Switzerland on Tuesday.
That's the view of England coach Fabio Capello, who said starting Rooney could ensure he forgets "any problems" caused by tabloid allegations at home that he cheated on his pregnant wife last year with a prostitute.
"You have to divide different moments: private life and job," Capello said Monday, after confirming the 24-year-old forward would start at St. Jakob Park. "It is important to stay with the players, to play. For the players, to play is a fantastic moment."
The revelations in two Sunday newspapers fueled speculation that Rooney would stay in England to address his family issues.
However, Capello said he knew Rooney was ready for duty after watching him closely in Sunday's team practice.
"I monitored everything during the training. He was good, he was focused on the game," the England coach said. "During this period, when you stay on the pitch he forgot any problems.
"We have to be focused on the game, not other things. Rooney is an important player for England, for the young people, for all English people."
Rooney is just the latest of Capello's key players to have their off-the-field behavior splashed over the front pages of the famously aggressive London tabloids.
In a briefing with English sportswriters on Monday, Capello was asked if he was surprised by the intensity of the media's coverage of footballers' lives.
The Italian sighed, then said with a smile: "It's England. It's the newspapers."
Capello, who has coached high-profile clubs such as AC Milan and Real Madrid, said he had previous experience of similar stories involving his players, particularly those tracked by Italy's paparazzi photographers.
"I remember different moments in my job with some problems like this. I have to be ready for everything in my job," he said.
Rooney will be reunited in the forward line with Jermain Defoe, who used his partner's assists to score a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Bulgaria in England's opening qualifier on Friday.
Capello hailed the pair's chemistry at Wembley, when Rooney was freed to roam across the pitch and create danger.
"The movement off the ball of Defoe was fantastic, the passing of Rooney was fantastic, the finish of Defoe was really, really good," Capello said.
Capello said he will be happy if Defoe follows his "euphoria" of confident finishing with just one goal at St. Jakob Park.
His only selection issue is choosing one of Gary Cahill, Joleon Lescott or Matthew Upson to partner Phil Jagielka in the center of defense. Regular starters Rio Ferdinand and John Terry are injured and unavailable, while Michael Dawson was hurt on Friday.
Capello regards hosts Switzerland -- which kicks off its qualifying program Tuesday -- as England's most dangerous opponent in a balanced Group C, respecting its fast counterattacking style.
"The pressure to the ball is really, really good," Capello said. "When they arrive at the box, they play with one touch. It's dangerous."