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Lambert's England chances boosted
2:41pm Wednesday 4th September 2013 in Sport
Rickie Lambert’s chances of securing a second England cap look to have improved, with Daniel Sturridge increasingly likely to join Wayne Rooney on the sidelines for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Moldova.
Manchester United striker Rooney has already withdrawn from the squad, after suffering a nasty head wound, while Sturridge is a major doubt as he struggles with a groin injury.
The Liverpool forward is with the England camp, but has been unable to train properly, and manager Roy Hodgson is said to have accepted that the player may only be fit for next Tuesday’s qualifier, away to Ukraine.
The absence of England’s top two front men leaves Lambert, Danny Welbeck and Jermain Defoe as the remaining out-and-out strike options for Friday’s game, at Wembley. Ashley Young is also listed as a forward, while ex-Saint Theo Walcott can play in such a role if required.
Lambert is back in the squad following his dream debut against Scotland last month, when he scored the winner in a 3-2 victory, after coming on as a second-half substitute.
England beat Moldova 5-0 away from home in the opening fixture of their qualifying campaign, but midfielder Michael Carrick is aware that their opponents have improved a lot since then.
“We won’t be complacent at all,” he said. “That result in Moldova was terrific but it is gone. There is nothing from that game we can take into this one. It is a whole new scenario.”
England are currently second in Group H, two points behind leaders Montenegro, but with a game in hand. Ukraine are one point and one place behind them, having played the same number of matches.
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