2014 World Cup Qualifiers Focus: England

England were comfortable winners against minnows San Marino in the first of their World Cup qualifying double header, coming away 5-0 winners in front of a packed Wembley crowd. They travel to Poland on Tuesday in what will undoubtedly be a tougher task, but Roy Hodgson will know a win would put them in a strong position to qualify.

Following the international retirement of John Terry, and suspension and injury ruling out Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard respectively, the captaincy was handed to Wayne Rooney on Friday night, with the Manchester United man rewarding Hodgson with two goals which moved him into the top five all time goalscorers for England.

“This is something I’m really proud of. It’s a big challenge for myself, and I’m excited. Hopefully we can cap the day off with a good victory” – said Rooney ahead of the game.

Andy Carroll received a recall to the national set-up after enjoying an impressive start to the season with West Ham, while Hodgson incluced some new faces in the form of Ryan Shawcross and Jonjo Shelvey, with the latter making his debut.

Following the recent controversy surrounding his use of Twitter, Ashley Cole was replaced by Leighton Baines in the starting line-up on Friday. The Chelsea star could return, but his club team-mates Ryan Bertrand and Frank Lampard have not flown out to Warsaw due to illness and injury respectively. They are joined by Theo Walcott, who was forced off with a chest injury after a collision with San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini.

England will be wary having been held by Ukraine at Wembley last month, with away trips to Poland, Ukraine and Montenegro yet to negotiate, they will face tougher tests than the one they faced on Friday.

Meanwhile, having been left disappointed by their performance in front of a home crowd during Euro 2012, Poland have enjoyed a solid start to their qualifying campaign. A draw away at Montenegro and a 2-0 home win against Moldova sees them three points behind England having played a game less, and they will hope to deliver a significant blow to their opponents.

England are at 1.90 to secure all three points against Poland, with a close fought 1-0 win at 6.00. Having bagged two goals on Friday night, Danny Welbeck is at 6.50 to be first goalscorer, with Dortmund danger-man Roberto Lewandowski at 7.00 to get Poland off to the perfect start.


Click here for all the latest odds on the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers, and you can follow us on Twitter @BetclicUK for all the latest news and betting tips.

11/10/2012 - posted by
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