Striker crisis?

Peter Fraser looks at England's attacking options with Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge out.

Last Updated: 07/09/13 at 19:21

Roy Hodgson: England's manager could be without three of his strikers agains

Roy Hodgson: England's manager could be without three of his strikers agains

England may have secured a comfortable 4-0 win over Moldova at Wembley on Friday night but the victory also came at a cost for manager Roy Hodgson.

As the Three Lions continue their tense challenge to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, they will have to do so in Tuesday's hugely important match in Ukraine without forward Danny Welbeck.

The striker has been ruled out of next week's game due to suspension after collecting his second booking of the Group H qualification campaign in the defeat of Moldova.

Welbeck's absence is a latest setback to Hodgson's striking options with Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge also sidelined through injury and, here, we look at the issues facing the England boss.

Danny Welbeck

Hodgson was furious with the match officials against Moldova when Welbeck was booked in the first half to mean he will be suspended versus Ukraine. The Manchester United man, who scored twice versus Moldova from a position on the left of England's three-man attack, was adjudged to have kicked the ball away despite the supposed offence coming only a second or two after a whistle for offside. Welbeck's earlier booking in qualifying came in March's draw in Montenegro, when he was adjudged to have dived.

Rickie Lambert

Southampton's forward followed up his match-winning debut goal against Scotland with another header in the win over Moldova. Lambert also provided the two assists for Welbeck's goals. But the 31-year-old has only two caps to his name and his lack of experience at international level will be a worry for Hodgson ahead of such an significant fixture with Ukraine. However, his 70th minute substitution against Moldova suggests he will have a big part to play against Ukraine.

Daniel Sturridge

Liverpool's in-form forward missed Friday night's game against Moldova as a result of a thigh injury which meant he had returned to his club for rehabilitation. However, despite Hodgson being desperate for Sturridge to quickly overcome the problem - he was ruled out on Saturday. Sturridge has scored five goals in four games for Liverpool so far this season.

Wayne Rooney

The Manchester United striker was ruled out of the games against Moldova and Ukraine after he suffered a severe gash on his head following an accidental collision with club-mate Phil Jones in training. The injury meant Rooney, England's leading goalscorer in the World Cup qualifying campaign with five, had already missed United's defeat by Liverpool in the Premier League. Some critics had questioned Rooney's commitment to England and, in response, the 27-year-old posted a picture of his injury on his official Facebook page.

Jermain Defoe

The Tottenham Hotspur man represents a tried and tested option at international level after making more than 50 appearances for his country. Defoe has scored important goals for England in the past, including at World Cup finals. He also scored twice in the thrashing of San Marino in March. But Defoe has not started a Premier League game this season to suggest he might not be at his sharpest. However, if Hodgson did think about a tactical reshuffle and playing with a lone striker against Ukraine, Defoe could do the job.

Theo Walcott

Arsenal's Walcott has never made any secret of his desire to play as a central striker but for club and country his pace is favoured on the right of attacking areas. Walcott has also never really convinced when given the chance to operate through the middle. It remains to be seen if Hodgson decides to again play a 4-3-3 formation, as he did versus Moldova, when in Ukraine. Walcott may instead be relied upon to play a bit deeper if Hodgson was to switch to 4-2-3-1 and provide a bit more cover.

Ashley Young

The Manchester United winger was listed as one of England's forwards by the Football Association when their squad for the double-header against Moldova and Ukraine was announced and he could comfortably slot in as a direct replacement for Welbeck. Young's pace when England are looking to counter-attack against Ukraine could also be a weapon. But Young's form for United has been underwhelming at the start of the season and he has only played 107 minutes so far in the current campaign.

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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