England boss Roy Hodgson has named his team to play Moldova
England have named their team to play Moldova in a key World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Friday night and Rickie Lambert will lead the line as he makes his full debut.
The Southampton striker came off the bench to score the winner against Scotland in England’s 3-2 friendly victory last month and, with Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge having been ruled out through injury, he has now been handed a starting berth.
He will be supported by Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott while captain Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Jack Wilshere will comprise a strong-looking midfield.
Joe Hart will be in goal as usual, while Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka will team up at the heart of the defence.
In the absence of Glen Johnson, Kyle Walker will play at right-back, and Ashley Cole has got the nod at left-back ahead of Leighton Baines.
Manager Roy Hodgson says he had to choose between Lambert and Jermain Defoe for the striking berth and that the Southampton man’s proven match fitness got him the nod.
“It’s partly the fact Lambert turned up fully fit, having played the three matches,” said Hodgson.
“It was a straight choice between Lambert and Defoe. Jermain hasn’t played and turned up with a slight injury. That swayed me to turn my attention to Rickie.”
England team v Moldova: Hart, Walker, Cole, Jagielka, Cahill, Gerrard (captain), Lampard, Wilshere, Lambert, Walcott, Welbeck.