Tonight the second legs of 6 World Cup Qualifiers will be played whilst many other international friendlies will be held. Stand out ties include England vs Germany where the Three Lions looking to bounce back after a shock 2-0 loss against Chile; Netherlands vs Colombia in which two high profile countries will look for a good result heading into next years World Cup; and Brazil vs Chile where the 11th and 12th ranked teams will face off in an all South American tie. Along with the World Cup Qualifiers and International Friendlies, a few Continental Qualifiers will take place in Asia as fourteen teams begin their AFC Asian Cup qualification. The highest ranked teams taking part are Iran and Uzbekistan. Yesterday four International Friendlies were held, with the most prominent game seeing Italy held to a shock 2-2 draw with Nigeria. A full list of fixtures taking part tonight can be found below:
Venue: Wembley Kick Off: 20:00 (GMT) Date: 15th October 2013
Just 90 minutes of football is all that separates Roy Hodgson’s England and qualification for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. The fate of England’s World Cup hopes lie in their own hands as on 15th October – they have the chance to guarantee qualification into the 2014 World Cup. Albeit a bit late, England will have the chance to book their place in Brazil if they overcome Poland tomorrow, a task which they could not manage in October last year as a goal from Glik in the 70th minute cancelled out Rooney’s first half goal. This time around, they will be hoping to do better against the Poles.
Coming into the match Poland are much regarded as the underdogs, after their hopes of qualification were vanquished via a 1-0 loss against Ukraine. England on the other hand come into the game as clear favourites, coming in off the back of a 4-1 victory over Montenegro, but the scoreline is quite flattering as Montenegro played much better than it suggests. This leads me to think that Poland could end up playing a defensive game, not required to attack and a win not of much importance. However, with the likes of Błaszczykowski and Lewandowski in the team, it would be rather wasteful to not use their attacking ability.
England are already guaranteed a place in the play-offs but manager Roy Hodgson would much rather avoid this. Hodgson wants England to complete the task in hand tomorrow and not resort to leaving it any later.
“We must make sure we complete it against Poland and I am sure we will,” he said.
“Even though they are out of the running and have nothing to play for, I can’t imagine they will take their foot off the pedal.”
Captain Steven Gerrard agrees with Hodgson, and believes that the Poles cannot be taken lightly. Despite being out of the running they still could prove dangerous with the players they have.
“They’ll be coming to Wembley, they’ll want to beat England, they’ll want to be the team that stops us going to a World Cup; we won’t be thinking they’re going to take their foot off the gas.”
Poland will be without injured defender Lukasz Piszczek, but coach Waldemar Fornalik, who could be in charge for the last time, is more concerned about scoring goals.
He said: “I am thinking of the points and a win. Nothing else will do in any match.”
Jakub Blaszczykowski, the Poland captain, has reiterated that the game won’t be defensive.
“We want to thank them with a good game and the right result.
“It doesn’t matter that we only have honour for which to play. Matches at Wembley are always very important to us.”
Team-mate Robert Lewandowski admits that Poland will be underdogs for the game but is hopeful that he can give Poland’s fans something about which to cheer.
“We know we have a lot of fans out there who will come to the game,” he added. “We don’t stand a chance of going through but we want to go to Wembley and at least allow our supporters a little fun. For sure, we won’t be favourites.”