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Strike duo set to boost Hodgson

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03 Oct 2013 09:46:57

Strike duo set to boost Hodgson

England boss Roy Hodgson is due to name his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland and is likely to have his two in-form strikers at his disposal for the crucial final Group H matches.

Daniel Sturridge missed the last two qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine through injury while Wayne Rooney missed Manchester United's Champions clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night after suffering a kick on his shin by Danny Welbeck in training on Tuesday.

But Sturridge has been flying for Liverpool in recent weeks and United manager David Moyes confirmed following the Red Devils' 1-1 draw that Rooney is likely to feature against Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Rooney and Sturridge have scored 12 goals in 15 matches between them this season, and they are both almost sure to start against Montenegro if they come through their club games this weekend.

That will come as a relief to Hodgson with England on shaky ground in their quest to qualify for Brazil.

The Three Lions are one point ahead of Ukraine and Montenegro so only two wins will guarantee Hodgson's men automatic entry to the finals next summer.

Ukraine are expected to win their final two qualifiers against Poland at home and San Marino away, so in all likelihood if England collect four points, they will be destined for the play-offs.

If they fail to win against Montenegro a week on Friday, and Poland four days later, then their World Cup dreams will almost certainly be over.

Ordinarily, England would be expected to win at home against both nations, but their only qualification victories so far have come against one of the world's lowest-ranked teams in San Marino and against Moldova, who are sandwiched between Tanzania and Guyana at 129th in the rankings.

Montenegro gave England a real fright in March when they put on an impressive second-half display to earn a 1-1 draw.


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