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Boruc to beat as Lambert eyes World Cup finals place with England
Lambert had to watch on from the bench as England fought out a comfortable 4-1 win over Montenegro on Friday night but is primed for action this evening as England try to book their place in Brazil.
Standing in their way is Saints keeper Artur Boruc, who has inevitably been compared to Jan Tomaszewski who famously frustrated Sir Alf Ramsey’s side with an unorthodox performance at Wembley in 1973.
England are certain of at least a play-off place regardless of the result tonight but Lambert and his England teammates know that a victory tonight will guarantee a place in the World Cup finals.
“As far as I’m concerned I still feel the focus is on this as a game we want to win,” said England boss Roy Hodgson.
“I’m not thinking of the play-offs.
“I don’t think we shall be very satisfied if we don’t win. We know we’ve got the play-offs but I don’t think that will affect the attitude of the players. We’re a good team, we’re at home and we’ll want to win.”
Hodgson is also ignoring the attention being paid to Boruc because of that Tomaszewski comparison.
“History’s important when it comes to not making political mistakes but I don’t think it has any relevance in sport whatsoever,” said Hodgson.
“Every game’s a new game and each Poland team that’s played England has been a very different team so as far as we’re concerned we’ll do our job against the Poland we will face.”
What’s not in any doubt is that Lambert is Saints’ most potent striker for years and that Boruc is in fine form having conceded just two goals in the first seven Premier League games of the campaign.
“We want to seize this opportunity. We want to win,” said England captain Steven Gerrard.
“We’ll have 90,000, a full house at Wembley. It’s a huge game on the back of a huge performance a couple of nights ago, and we’re ready to go.”
Poland’s qualification hopes are over after a 1-0 loss to Ukraine on Friday night, but Gerrard expects them to give England a difficult night.
“I think Poland’s tactics will be very similar to Montenegro,” he said.
“They will want to defend well and make it difficult so we will have to show patience.
“But with the attacking players we’ve got it’s only a matter of time before the breakthrough comes. We’ve got that confidence.”
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