Ukraine v England preview
Capello's men keen to continue 100 per cent record
By James Riach. Last Updated: 10/10/09 5:22pm
Capello: Wants momentum
England take on Ukraine in Dnipro safe in the knowledge that they have already booked their place in next year's World Cup finals.
The Three Lions will definitely top Group Six no matter what happens in their remaining two qualifying matches, although coach Fabio Capello will want to continue their 100 per cent record in the group.
After a thumping 5-1 win against Croatia last time out, England will be full of confidence but will have to be wary of a Ukraine side who can still pip Slaven Bilic's team to second spot.
If Ukraine manage to beat England they will be favourites to clinch a play-off place in Group Six, as they currently lie two points behind Croatia with a game in hand, and face minnows Andorra in their final fixture.
With a place in South Africa already assured, the Italian coach may decide to tinker with his starting line-up, although he is unlikely to make major changes.
Goalkeeper David James is hopeful of a return after a lengthy international absence with a shoulder injury.
The last time James wore the England jersey was in the reverse fixture against Ukraine in April, which the Three Lions won 2-1 at Wembley, but the Pompey stopper has now returned to full fitness.
However, Robert Green has deputised well, conceding just once in three competitive matches, and Capello may opt to keep the West Ham man between the sticks.
Another player who has been given a place in the squad is Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, while Bolton's Gary Cahill may be awarded his first cap from the bench.
Carrick, 28, has found chances hard to come by in international football as he plays second fiddle to Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry in midfield, although he may be given the chance to prove he is worthy of a World Cup place.
Rio Ferdinand should replace Matthew Upson at centre-half, after missing the Croatia tie through injury
Striker Wayne Rooney is the leading scorer in the European qualifying round, with nine goals to his name so far, but he could find it difficult to add to his tally against a defence that has only conceded six goals in eight games.
However, Ukraine will be without injured defenders Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Andriy Rusol, while Vitaliy Mandzyuk is suspended.
Taras Mykhalik and Oleksandr Aliev return to the international fold, and former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko is set to lead the line up front for the home side.
Possible England starting XI: Green, Johnson, A Cole, Terry, Ferdinand, Gerrard, Barry, Lampard, Lennon, Rooney, Heskey.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Sat 10th Oct - Group D
Finland2 - 1Wales
Russia0 - 1Germany
Liechtenstein0 - 2Azerbaijan
Sat 10th Oct - Group F
Belarus4 - 0Kazakhstan
Ukraine1 - 0England
Sat 10th Oct - Group B
Luxembourg0 - 3Switzerland
Greece5 - 2Latvia
Israel3 - 1Moldova
Sat 10th Oct - Group E
Armenia1 - 2Spain
Estonia0 - 2Bosnia
Belgium2 - 0Turkey
Sat 10th Oct - Group H
Cyprus4 - 1Bulgaria
Montenegro2 - 1Georgia
Rep Ireland2 - 2Italy
Sat 10th Oct - Group A
Denmark1 - 0Sweden
Portugal3 - 0Hungary
Sat 10th Oct - Group G
Austria2 - 1Lithuania
Serbia5 - 0Romania
France5 - 0Faroe Islands
Sat 10th Oct - Group C
Czech Rep2 - 0Poland
Slovakia0 - 2Slovenia
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||10||14|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I