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WC 2014 Qualification: Moldova vs England Preview

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WC 2014: Moldova vs England Preview
Chisnau, Sept 5: The Three Lions road to 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil begins with a visit to Moldova and manager Roy Hodgson hopes his England side clinch all three points on Friday at Stadionul Zimbru, Chisnau.

England head back to Wembley to clash against Euro 2012 opponents Ukraine on Tuesday. After a disappointing show in Poland-Ukraine, the Three Lions aim to grab all six points in their qualifying round in Group H including Poland, Montenegro and San Marino.

Hodgson's men should go through as winners with the small eastern European country, ranked 137 by FIFA. Moldova have won only 8 out of their last 42 matches.

But England, as usual, have many injury problems even before their World Cup campaign begins. In defence, Ashley Cole will be replaced by Everton left-back Leigton Baines while John Terry is not fully match-fit. However, Manchester City centre-back Joleon Lescott, Chelsea's Gary Cahill and Everton's Phil Jagielka are available.

Hodgson could play Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick for the first time in a competitive game while Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are set to play in midfield since the 4-1 drubbing against Germany two years ago.

Striker Wayne Rooney will miss out while West Ham United's Andy Carroll is injured leaving Hodgson with a thin strike force. Spurs' Jermain Defoe is likely to partner United's Danny Welbeck upfront with either James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on either flank.

Meanwhile, Moldova manager Ion Caras has no injury concerns in his squad and is expected to field a strong side against the number three side in the world.


* Moldova have failed to win or score in 2012 while Roy Hodgson's England have unbeaten in normal time, winning five and drawn 2.

* Moldova finished second to last in their Euro 2012 qualifying round while England were unbeaten in qualification.

Probable Lineups:

Moldova (4-2-3-1): Namasco-Bulgaru, Racu, Epureanu, Armas-Gatcan, Patras-Covalciuc, Onica, Doros-Picusciac.

England (4-3-3): Hart-Walker, Cahill, Terry, Baines-Lampard, Carrick, Gerrard-Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Friday, September 7, 2012, 11:26 [IST]
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