CaughtOffside’s prediction on how Tuesday’s night’s England line up will look.
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England face Poland on Tuesday night in a make or break game for Roy Hodgson. The Three Lions have not looked convincing over the course of the campaign, but overcame a tricky tie with Montenegro on Friday with relative ease, and now the crunch has arrived for the side and they will need to be on guard to not let Poland get the better of them.
England kept it tight enough at the back, and created enough chances up front, for Hodgson to warrant keeping the same side that vanquished Montenegro. Phil Jones will likely slot into right-back in place of Kyle Walker after the Spurs man picked up a booking on Friday night to rule him out of this clash through suspension. There are also question marks over Andros Townsend’s fitness and should he miss out then James Milner or Jack Wilshire will probably step in.
Welbeck and Sturridge working out wide was one of the danger points for Hodgson’s system, as they were able to link up well with the fullbacks, and simultaneously provide more defensive cover when needed.
Ones to watch:
Andros Townsend – The Spurs midfielder has enjoyed quite the meteoric rise recently, having taken advantage of a rather large Gareth Bale shaped hole in north London. Dangerous, quick, and with an eye for goal, he worked well in a free role and would cause the Polish defence no end of problems if included again.
Wayne Rooney – Finally back to his devastating best and scoring for both club and country, Rooney still represents England’s greatest threat in many ways and when he’s confident, much as he is now, he will be a handful for even the best of sides.
Leighton Baines – Should England win a free kick around the box at any point then Poland will need to be on guard as Baines has proved recently (and over the years) that he can strike a dead ball with the best of them. Defensively astute as well as dangerous on the attack, Baines will start to eke out Ashley Cole now and make that left back spot his own.
Jakub B?aszczykowski – The Dortmund midfielder has become one of the most underrated players in the world recently with fine displays for club and country. A ferocious competitor, he can score, tackle, run and pass with a level of consistency that makes him a threat in more ways than one. Will run the Polish show from the middle by linking up with the forwards.
Robert Lewandowski – ‘Kuba’s’ teammate at Dortmund. There’s a reason why so many clubs have their eye on the 24-year-old and his ability to create the space for himself and then utilise it with the most devastating efficiency is just one of the key features he has in his game. A top level performer who will see this as the ideal shop window for January.
Artur Boruc – When ‘The Holy Goalie’ is good, he’s incredible. So much so that his boss at Southampton, Mauricio Pochettino, likened him to Leonardo Da Vinci’s eight limbed Virtuvian Man for his recent displays. He has the potential to be a game spoiler for England and the atmosphere at Wembley will be just the kind that he thrives on to perform at his best too.