Manager Roy Hodgson is expected to retain exciting new winger Andros Townsend and make one enforced team change when England seek to beat Poland on Tuesday and seal their passage to the World Cup finals.
Townsend, 22, of Tottenham Hotspur, made a goal-scoring debut for
England on Friday when his pace and trickery inspired them to a 4-1
victory against Montenegro at Wembley.
That win confirmed at least a playoff place for Hodgson's team who
must beat already eliminated Poland to top Group H and qualify
automatically for next year's finals in Brazil.
England will be forced to make one change as Townsend's club mate,
right back Kyle Walker, is suspended after picking up a second yellow
card of the qualifying campaign against Montenegro.
His place is likely to go to Phil Jones while left back Leighton
Baines is expected to continue deputising for Ashley Cole, ruled out
with a rib injury after also missing the Montenegro match.
Hodgson may also recall utility player James Milner to add some
defensive grit, in place of Danny Welbeck, as England prepare to cope
with Poland's counter-attacking potential.
"They are strong and very well organised and in Robert Lewandowski
and Jakub Blaszczykowski they have two top-class players," said Hodgson.
"We will prepare for the best Poland can be, and if we are lucky, and they decide to stroll through, so be it."
Poland's bid to qualify ended when they were beaten 1-0 by Ukraine
on Friday after which striker Lewandowski said Poland had deserved
"We played very well," he said. "There was not a lot wrong with that
performance and, although we lost, there was a lot to be pleased about.
If we play that way again on Tuesday, it will not be easy for England."
Poland will be without injured defender Lukasz Piszczek, but coach
Waldemar Fornalik, probably in charge for the last time, said he is more
concerned about scoring goals.
He said: "I am thinking of the points and a win. Nothing else will do in any match."
Hodgson added that, after beating Montenegro, he had warned against any complacency.
"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.
"I think they'll come here and try to win the game and get another good result like in 1973."
His reference to 1973 was a reminder of a 1-1 draw at Wembley on
October 17 that year, a result that sealed Poland's passage to the 1974
finals, where they finished third, and ended England's qualifying
Asked what he remembered of that night, Hodgson told reporters:
"Nothing, I didn't watch it, I was coaching in South Africa and there
was no telly there then."
His dismissal of a much-hyped 'nightmare' that has 'haunted English
soccer for 40 years', put it in context. In reality, England, who have
won their last six home matches against the Poles, should extend that
run and qualify.