Chelsea midfielder to pass milestone in crucial qualifier
Ukraine v England ITV, 7.30pm
England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that midfielder Frank Lampard will win his 100th cap against Ukraine in the World Cup Group H qualifier tonight.
It will be another milestone for Lampard in a career that has seen the 35-year-old win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and captain Chelsea to glory in both the Champions League and Europa League.
“Lampard will play tomorrow night,” Hodgson said. “That’s quite a first. I’m happy to have been part of that. All things being equal Frank will play and start the game tomorrow and win his 100th cap. 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.”
Lampard will play alongside two other Englishmen who have won 100 caps for their country in captain Steven Gerrard and defender Ashley Cole.
Lampard, who has scored 29 goals for his country, salvaged a point from England’s Wembley clash with Ukraine as he slotted home a late equaliser from the penalty spot.
And while Hodgson’s side presently sit at the summit of Group H, they are still a long way from booking a place at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
The Lions lie level on points with Montenegro but head the group courtesy of a superior goal difference, though third-placed Ukraine lie just a point behind.
As a result, defeat for England in Kiev tonight could potentially be disastrous and with the hosts flying high after winning their last four qualifiers and scoring 18 goals in the process, including a 9-0 tonking of San Marino last Friday, a difficult night could be on the cards.
Injuries to Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge in tandem with Danny Wellbeck’s suspension have left Hodgson short on striking options, with Southampton’s Ricky Lambert expected to once again lead the line.