Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 6th 2013 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, September 6, 2013
With Wayne Rooney and
Daniel Sturridge ruled out
through injury, England will
be dipping into its pool of
reserve strikers for goals
against Moldova today in
World Cup qualifying.
Rickie Lambert, who scored
against Scotland last month on
his international debut, will
make his first start in the
absence of coach Roy Hodgson s
first-choice forwards in a match
England is expected to win com-
fortably after beating Moldova
5-0 a year ago.
England s players must then
prepare for Tuesday s match in
Ukraine which could be crucial
in determining who finishes in
the top two in Group H. Just
three points separates group
leader Montenegro, second-
place England and the Ukraini-
ans, who are third with four
matches left in qualifying.
"We have not exactly been
lucky, have we?" Hodgson said
on Thursday. "But it s a great
opportunity for the ones who
maybe wouldn t have got a
game. It s up to them to do a
Sturridge, arguably the form
striker in the Premier League
after scoring three successive
winning goals for Liverpool,
pulled out of the Moldova match
with a thigh injury that has been
troubling him for the past week
and is "touch and go" to play
in Kiev next week, according to
Rooney, though, will definitely
miss both matches after sus-
taining a deep cut to his forehead
in an accidental training-ground
collision at Manchester United.
In an effort to fend off accu-
sations that he is not committed
to the national team, Rooney
was moved to post a picture
online of the wound that Eng-
land winger Theo Walcott
described as "like something
out of a horror film."
Lambert, who once worked
in a beetroot factory, capped his
rise from the fourth tier to the
Premier League by scoring 15
goals for Southampton last sea-
son and made a dream debut in
international football at the age
of 31 by coming off the bench
to score the winner against Scot-
land with his first touch.
"It was the best moment of
my career by a mile," Lambert
"We ve come off a good win
against Scotland so we are con-
fident, especially myself, and I
can t wait for Friday to begin."
Hodgson s side should
account for 123rd-ranked
Moldova, but England won t be
out of the woods in a group
many expected the team to sail
through. A loss in Ukraine next
week could leave England in
danger of missing out on second
place and a spot in the playoffs.
"This is the crunch time. We
have to get results," England
defender Gary Cahill said.
It s also a big few days for
first-choice goalkeeper Joe Hart,
2 win over Scotland last month
and has been criticized at the
start of the season for some mis-
takes made while playing for
"Sometimes it is difficult
when you are England s No. 1,"
said James Milner, Hart s team-
mate with England and City.
"People just remember the bad
side and the good things are
expected. He is an amazing
keeper and what is being said
will only make him stronger."
Snatching a point is the best
Moldova is hoping for.
"A draw with England would
be a miracle for Moldova," coach
Ion Caras said.
Also on Friday, Montenegro
plays at fourth-place Poland,
which needs a win to stand a
chance of a top-two finish, and
Ukraine will expect three points
and a big victory at home against
England has striker worries
ahead of Moldova match TBILISI---A win over Georgia and a favor from
Finland are just what France needs in World
The French are second in Group I, one point
behind Spain. The Spanish play at Finland today,
while France visits Georgia.
"We know we have difficult games ahead of
us. But Spain also has an important match in
Finland, one of those teams will drop points,"
France defender Bacary Sagna said. "We have to
take full advantage of any slip-up to reclaim first
place, and we have to win both of our match-
es."After the match in Tbilisi, France travels to
play Belarus on Tuesday.
The Spanish are the favourites to win the group
with the match at Finland followed by home
games against Belarus and Georgia. But Finland
has already shown it can play with Spain, holding
the world champions to a 1-1 draw in March.
Georgia, which has only one win in qualifying,
held out until the 86th minute before losing to
Spain 1-0 and caused the French team problems
on the counterattack despite a 3-1 loss at Stade
de France in March.
"They have technical players who are very
lively. They run at you and try to create openings,"
France coach Didier Deschamps said. "Georgia
didn t give up until the end against Spain and
almost equalised in the final minute."
France s problem is converting possession into
goals, and winger Franck Ribery said it was
because of a fear of failure.
"When a player tries something and it doesn t
come off he loses confidence," the Bayern Munich
midfielder said. "He doesn t feel good, is scared
of being criticised."
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge
celebrates his team's 1-0 win
against Manchester United
during their English Premier
League soccer match at Anfield
Stadium, Liverpool, England, on
Sunday. AP PHOTO
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