Hodgson to take shackles off in cup final with Ukraine

ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson has vowed to throw caution to the wind in search of three points in tonight’s “cup final” with Ukraine.

Defeat for the Three Lions in their vital World Cup qualifier in Kiev would see them relinquish top spot in Group H with two matches to go and open up the probability of having to negotiate a two-legged play-off in order to reach the finals in Brazil next summer.

And despite a dearth of attacking options, with Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck all missing through injury and suspension, Hodgson intends to stamp his authority on a match England dare not lose.

“These are two good teams who are in form and are capable of winning the group, so it’s a bit of a cup final and when you play a cup final you don’t necessarily win by being cautious,” said the 65-year-old.

“Sometimes you win it by going on the front foot and trying to make certain you score more goals than the opposition, so we are aware of those things. We don’t have any qualms about what we have to do and the task in front of us.

“What we need to do is get a result and the players are confident that they can put on a good performance.”

Hodgson is set to make just one enforced change to the side that beat Moldova 4-0 at Wembley on Friday, with Welbeck suspended – his probable replacement being Manchester City’s James Milner.

That means Frank Lampard is set to earn his 100th England cap at the heart of the midfield alongside Steven Gerrard and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere.

“All things being equal Frank will play and start the game and win his 100th cap,” Hodgson confirmed.

“I don’t think there will be many players who will play for England for two or three years let alone 14 years.

“Fourteen years is a long time to be representing your country. We don’t have that many international matches, so I think people who want to play 100 games for their country have to play for a team that wins major international tournaments and play for a very long time.”

Probable team to play Ukraine
■ Joe Hart; Kyle Walker, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole; Frank Lampard, Jack Wilshere, Steven Gerrard; James Milner, Theo Walcott, Rickie Lambert

■ Subs: John Ruddy, Fraser Forster; Chris Smalling, Leighton Baines; Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Ross Barkley, Ashley Young, Andros Townsend, Raheem Sterling; Jermain Defoe