England v Ukraine preview
Hodgson set for first competitive game at Wembley
Last Updated: September 11, 2012 10:20am
England will be looking to build on an emphatic victory over Moldova when they take on Ukraine in their first match at Wembley since Euro 2012.
The two teams met during the summer tournament in a closely-contested encounter which the Three Lions edged thanks to a Wayne Rooney goal.
Ukraine were knocked out as a result of the 1-0 defeat, although they were left to rue a contentious decision not to award a goal after John Terry cleared Marko Devic's shot when the ball had crossed the line.
The battle is now on for World Cup qualification and Roy Hodgson's men made a perfect start with a 5-0 win in Moldova on Friday.
Ukraine were not in action and Poland drew 2-2 with Montenegro, so there is an opportunity for England to take a firm early grip at the top of Group H by claiming another three points in Tuesday's eagerly-awaited tussle.
Hodgson was pleased with the performance of his men against Moldova and has revealed he will keep faith with the same players, apart from making one enforced change to the starting line-up.
John Terry was ruled out over the weekend with an ankle problem and will be replaced by either Chelsea colleague Gary Cahill or Phil Jagielka of Everton in the heart of the defence.
Glen Johnson, Joleon Lescott and Leighton Baines will make up the rest of the back four, with Ashley Cole still unavailable due to an ankle injury of his own.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tom Cleverley will have further opportunities to shine after catching the eye in Chisinau, while Frank Lampard, James Milner and skipper Steven Gerrard bring experience to the midfield.
Jermain Defoe will again lead the line and Hodgson will be pleased to have a striker at his disposal in good form, having admitted there is a shrinking pool of English talent in the Premier League.
Hodgson opted to call up Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana and Jake Livermore on Monday after Theo Walcott was forced to pull out with a virus, with Daniel Sturridge also feeling unwell but expected to be fit in time for kick-off.
Ukraine have only played one match since losing to England in Donetsk, a 0-0 friendly draw with Czech Republic, and are still coming to terms with the retirement of star man Andriy Shevchenko.
Veteran goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy has also quit, leaving head coach Oleg Blokhin to choose between 19-year-old Maksym Koval and the more experienced Andriy Pyatov.
Striker Devic is also a doubt but Ukraine still represent a considerable threat, with captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and exciting wide men Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka among their key players.
Blokhin, who banned his players from watching England's game against Moldova, is looking forward to the match.
What Blokhin hopes is that England will be adversely affected by an increased expectation ahead of Hodgson's first competitive game at Wembley.
"The pressure is on them, whether they want it or not," he said.
"If they win, they will have six points and have made a very good start in the competition.
"It is the opposite to Donetsk. We are trying to start the tournament well but we understand if we lose, nothing will have changed."
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Tue 11th Sep - Group E
Cyprus1 - 0Iceland
Norway2 - 1Slovenia
Switzerland2 - 0Albania
Tue 11th Sep - Group F
Israel0 - 4Russia
N Ireland1 - 1Luxembourg
Portugal3 - 0Azerbaijan
Tue 11th Sep - Group I
Georgia0 - 1Spain
France3 - 1Belarus
Tue 11th Sep - Group D
Romania4 - 0Andorra
Turkey3 - 0Estonia
Hungary1 - 4Netherlands
Tue 11th Sep - Group B
Bulgaria1 - 0Armenia
Italy2 - 0Malta
Tue 11th Sep - Group G
Bosnia4 - 1Latvia
Slovakia2 - 0Liechtenstein
Greece2 - 0Lithuania
Tue 11th Sep - Group A
Serbia6 - 1Wales
Belgium1 - 1Croatia
Scotland1 - 1Macedonia
Tue 11th Sep - Group C
Sweden2 - 0Kazakhstan
Austria1 - 2Germany
Tue 11th Sep - Group H
San Marino0 - 6Montenegro
Poland2 - 0Moldova
England1 - 1Ukraine
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||5||8|
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
England v Ukraine
Joleon Lescott believes England must cope with different refereeing standards in international football.
Phil Jagielka is confident England can qualify for the World Cup as winners of Group H despite drawing with Ukraine.
Jermain Defoe believes England can stay unbeaten throughout their qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup.
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