England Manager confirms Rickie Lambert's place in his starting eleven to face Moldova
England v Moldova
FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifier
8pm, Friday 6 September
Live on ITV
Roy Hodgson says Rickie Lambert is in his starting line-up to face Moldova at Wembley on Friday night.
The Southampton striker scored the winner against Scotland last month and has been handed his full debut for the important World Cup qualifier.
England will be without in-form Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge with a thigh problem while Wayne Rooney was ruled out at the weekend with a head injury.
But it means Lambert, who netted 15 Premier League goals last season and has already opened his account this campaign, will get another opportunity to impress.
"He deserves a chance," said Hodgson, shortly after his team's arrival at their London base on Thursday.
"I can't deny had Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge been available, it would have been harder for him to get a starting place, but I am more than happy to have a player of his calibre to start this game."
With three goals in three games this season that have fired Liverpool to the top of the Premier League, Sturridge's absence will be a blow for England.
But Hodgson is hopeful that the 24-year-old will return to the set-up on Sunday and be fit to travel to Ukraine for the second game of the double-header.
"[He] has worked hard at his treatment and the initial prognosis was that he wouldn't be fit for either of them but he didn't accept that," Hodgson said.
"He's worked very hard and had the necessary treatment but I think it will be touch and go.
"On Sunday we'll have a training session before heading for Ukraine. If he passes it then he'll be with us. Otherwise then he'll be staying with Liverpool."
Hodgson also revealed that Cardiff City's Steven Caulker will miss Friday's game with an ankle injury, but expects him to be fine for the trip to Kiev.
"Steven Caulker turned his ankle in training," he said. "It's not a serious matter but it will keep him out of the game tomorrow night.
"He's expected to do some running tomorrow after the game, but he won't be on the bench. It won't keep him out of the Ukraine game."
Tickets for Friday's game are still available priced from £25*. Family tickets (2 adults, 2 children) are just £60*. You can buy online at www.TheFA.com/tickets
*subject to availability