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England v Ukraine Match Preview

With England’s qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup getting off to an absolute flyer with the 5-0 demolition of Moldova last week, there’s understandably a huge groundswell of support for Roy Hodgson’s team as they prepare to take on Ukraine on Tuesday night.

The Three Lions are looking to continue their winning start to Group H against the Eastern Europeans, who are hoping to show there is life after Andriy Shevchenko.

Team News

John Terry’s absence with an ankle injury picked up in the closing stages of Friday’s clash with Moldova means Chelsea team-mate Gary Cahill will likely come in to partner Joleon Lescott at centre-back.

Elsewhere, however, boss Roy Hodgson will almost certainly stick with the same line-up which got the Three Lions’ qualification campaign off to such an emphatic start, with Jermain Defoe once again leading the line and youngsters Tom Cleverley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looking to provide the ammunition.
Both Daniel Sturridge and Theo Walcott have been struck by illness, which has allowed uncapped duo Lallana and Sterling to be a part of Hodgson’s set-up for the clash at Wembley.

Walcott has been ruled out completely, but Sturridge is believed to be winning his race to be passed fit.

The Three Lions head into the encounter with good form in their previous meetings against the Ukrainians, having won four out of the last five matches between the two nations.

Ukraine will be beginning life without Andriy Shevchenko and Andriy Voronin, both of whom retired following their country’s exit from the European Championships.

Key Battles

Joleon Lescott v Marco Devic

In the absence of the injured John Terry, Lescott will take over the senior partner role in the centre of defence and will need to be equally commanding. Devic carries the goalscoring burden in the wake of a raft of retirements after Euro 2012 and will no doubt be motivated having had a goal disallowed against England in the tournament this summer.

Frank Lampard v Anatoliy Tymoshchuk

Lampard’s second goal against Moldova showed he still has the knack of timing his runs into the penalty area to perfection and his movement could again be key to unlocking Ukraine’s defence. The experienced Tymoshchuk’s job will be to keep an eye on the Chelsea midfielder and prevent him getting the space to do any damage.

Jermain Defoe v Yevhen Khacheridi

Buoyed by his goal in the opening qualifier, Defoe will be keen to build on that strike and show he is the man to fill in while Wayne Rooney is injured, and possibly stake a claim even when the Manchester United forward returns. Khacheridi will be hoping to fully recover from a reported virus as Ukraine have defensive problems and his recent experience at Euro 2012 will be invaluable.

Likely England Line-up

Where to Watch Live

The match will be telecast live on iTV 1 and iTV 1 HD from 7.30 pm onwards. You can also catch live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, from 7.45 pm onwards.

Chris Linnell’s Prediction: England 3 v 0 Ukraine

George ‘Wales fan’ Royle’s Prediction: England 3 v 1 Ukraine