England face their sternest test of the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign so far, when they take on Poland at the National Stadium in Warsaw.
Both teams will be approaching the match looking to end their second round of qualifiers on a high. Roy Hodgson's side are on top of Group H, with seven points from three matches, having beaten minnows San Marino 5-0 in their last game. Meanwhile, Poland are in third spot, with four points but have played one match less than their opponents.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 8 pm BST. iTV 1 and iTV 1 HD will provide live coverage of the game in the UK.
England have been heavily criticised in recent times over their inability to come good against quality opposition. The Three Lions beat Moldova 3-0 in the inaugural match of their qualification campaign but struggled against Ukraine at Wembley. The hosts managed to scrape a point out of the encounter, thanks to a penalty by Frank Lampard but Hodgson will surely be hoping for his men to show some steel when they take on the Poles. Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck, who both scored twice against San Marino, will be looking to add to their tally in Warsaw. The English defence, in the absence of John Terry following his retirement from international football, are up for their first real test against the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Ludovic Obraniak.
Poland, on the other hand, will be banking on Borussia Dortmund striker Lewandowski to provide the goals with Kamil Grosicki, Adrian Mierzejewski and Obraniak feeding the striker from midfield. The latter has reinvented himself at Bordeaux, having already notched six goals and five assists in 25 Ligue 1 appearances after joining the club earlier this year. Obraniak could be a handful for the likes of Michael Carrick and Steven Gerrard. Waldemar Fornalik's team, who are coming into the game on the back of a 1-0 victory over South Africa in a friendly, will be looking to gather pace in their qualification campaign, which has seen a 2-0 victory over Moldova and a closely fought draw away at Montenegro.
- Last five (most recent first): W D W W D
- Last result: England 5 - 0 San Marino
- Last five (most recent first): W W D L L
- Last result: Poland 1 - 0 South Africa
England: Hodgson will be without Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand, who have pulled out of the fixture citing injury and illness. The Three Lions will also miss the services of Theo Walcott, after the Arsenal forward collided with San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini and suffered a bruised lung, ruling him out of contention for three weeks. However, England will be boosted by the return of captain Gerrard and his Liverpool teammate Glen Johnson, who were both forced to sit out against San Marino owing to suspensions.
Roy Hodgson is expected to make a few changes from the side which started against San Marino. Gary Cahill is expected to be replaced by Joleon Lescott, who will partner former Everton team mate Phil Jagielka in the centre of the defence. Johnson will start at right-back, with Kyle Walker remaining an injury doubt, while Ashley Cole will return to the side and should see off competition from Leighton Baines for the left-back role. The central midfield is expected to retain the services of Gerrard and Carrick, with Tom Cleverley losing out and moving to the bench. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored his first England goal last week, is set to continue on the left wing, while either James Milner or Aaron Lennon could feature on the right in Walcott's absence. Up front, Rooney is set to partner Welbeck, with Jermain Defoe expected to make an appearance at some stage.
Poland: Fornalik has been dealt a heavy blow as talismanic captain Jakub Blaszczykowski is unavailable for selection, after the winger twisted his ankle while playing for Dortmund. The Poles are also without first choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and backup stopper Lukasz Fabianski as both Arsenal players are nursing injuries. Midfielder Eugen Polanski is also a major doubt for the fixture after the player left the squad ahead of their friendly against South Africa to address certain personal issues. Lewandowski will come face to face with Joe Hart, weeks after Dortmund's Champions League game against Manchester City at the Etihad, which ended 1-1. The striker, who was bettered by the England No 1 in that match, will be looking to redeem himself in his second chance.
Probable Starting Line-up:
Poland (4-2-3-1): Tyton; Piszczek, Glik, Wasilewski, Wawrzyniak; Borysiuk, Krychowiak; Mierzejewski, Obraniak, Grosicki; Lewandowski
England (4-4-1-1): Hart; Johnson, Jagielka, Lescott, Cole; Milner, Carrick, Gerrard, Chamberlain; Rooney; Welbeck