Ukraine v England - Match preview and team news
Tuesday 10 September 2013
Currently a point clear of Group H, England enter a pivotal World Cup qualifier in Kiev knowing that defeat will leave them up against it in the race for automatic qualification.
On Friday, both sides sailed to comfortable victories, with Danny Welbeck scoring twice, and Rickie Lambert making it two goals in two internationals as England beat Moldova, while Ukraine hit nine past the whipping boys of San Marino.
The major blow for England from Friday’s game however, was the yellow card picked up by Welbeck, which means that the Manchester United striker will miss this match, forcing manager Roy Hodgson to find a replacement, in a team already short of attacking options.
Ukraine sit just behind England, and will be confident of attaining a positive result having played well in the corresponding fixture at Wembley a year ago, and the fact that England have so far only beaten the bottom two in the group in their qualifying campaign.
Mykhaylo Fomenko’s side will also be looking to avenge the defeat they suffered at the hands of England during Euro 2012, where a Wayne Rooney goal secured a smash and grab success in Donetsk, ending the co-hosts’ hopes of reaching the latter stages of the tournament.
With Daniel Sturridge definitely out, Lambert will continue in the England attack for what will be the biggest test of his international credentials so far. With Welbeck unavailable, Hodgson could turn to James Milner, a substitute against Moldova.
In defence, there have been rumours that Chris Smalling could be drafted in for Kyle Walker. Whoever gets the nod though, is likely to have a busy night, with Ukraine possessing two strong wingers in Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Ukraine vs England