Preview: Ukraine vs. England

Preview: Ukraine vs. England
© Getty Images
Sports Mole looks ahead to England's World Cup qualifying trip to Ukraine's Olympic Stadium.

If either nation are to realise their ambition of qualifying for next year's World Cup as group winners, then they must not lose this clash in Kiev.

Visiting England currently top the standings on goal difference ahead of Montenegro with 15 points, while Ukraine are third and just a point worse off. Both teams have a game in hand on the Montenegrins, so a victory at the Olympic Stadium would make them the firm favourites for qualification.

Roy Hodgson will be without Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck for the trip because of suspension, which in turn is likely to see Rickie Lambert make only his third appearance for the Three Lions. James Milner's defensive abilities may also result in him being given a wide berth.

Meanwhile, hosts Ukraine, who hit nine past San Marino on Friday night, are likely to include Zenit St Petersburg's holding midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in their starting lineup.

The teams shared a 1-1 draw earlier in the qualification process at Wembley, but the last time that they met on Ukrainian soil, Wayne Rooney scored the only goal of the game at Euro 2012.

Recent form

Ukraine: WWDWWW

England: WDDDWW

Possible starting lineups

Ukraine: Pyatov; Shevchuk, Fedetskiy, Rakitskiy, Khacheridi; Tymoshchuk, Edmar, Konoplyanka, Yarmolenko; Devic, Seleznyov

England: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Cole; Milner, Gerrard, Lampard, Wilshere, Walcott; Lambert

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Theo Walcott of England congratulates Rickie Lambert of England on scoring their second goal during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group H match between England and Moldova at Wembley Stadium on September 6, 2013
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