England come into this fixture second place in Group H two points off the top with a game in hand. Roy Hodgson has his eyes firmly set on qualification for the 2014 World Cup, despite what FA Chairman Greg Dyke has had to say in the media recently.
Hodgson faces something of an injury crisis after late call-up Steven Caulker was ruled out along with Glen Johnson, Phil Jones and Wayne Rooney. Daniel Sturridge meanwhile will miss the Moldova game, but will have his thigh injury assessed ahead of next Tuesday’s clash with Ukraine. So Rickie Lambert, fresh from his dream goal-scoring England debut, has been handed a starting berth up-front.
Moldova earned a 1-1 draw against Poland in June, but England will take confidence from their emphatic 5-0 victory in Chisinau which opened their qualifying campaign back in September 2012. Moldova go into this tie on the back of some decent results after a brace of 1-1 draws with Poland and Andorra last month, and will be hoping the goal-scorer in the latter tie – Alexandru Dedov – will continue his run of form
Kick-Off: Friday, 8pm
Past Three Meetings:
Moldova 0 England 5 (Lampard 2, Defoe, Milner, Baines), World Cup Qualifier, September 2012
England 4 (Scholes, Wright 2, Gascoigne) Moldova 0, World Cup Qualifier, September 1997
Moldova 0 England 3 (Barmby, Gascoigne, Shearer), World Cup Qualifier, September 1996
England have averaged 3.5 goals per game in their six qualifying games so far, they are the highest scorers in the group by seven goals
Moldova have failed to score in four of their seven games and have never scored against England
Apart from goalkeeper Fraser Forster, all of England’s current squad play in the Premier League. Moldova’s squad includes players from five different leagues
England currently trail Montenegro by two points in Group H with a game in hand and are only one point ahead of Ukraine.
England won the away fixture against Moldova 5-0 last year.
Hart, Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Cole, Lampard, Gerrard, Wilshere, Walcott, Lambert, Welbeck.
Pascenco, Epureanu, Golovatenco, Bulgaru, Suvorov, Ionita, Antoniuc, Sidorenco, Dedov, Gatcan, Grosu