England star: Result more important than milestone
Chelsea’s Frank Lampard has stated that he is more concerned about helping England beat Ukraine in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier than winning his 100th national cap.
If Lampard features in Kiev, he will become only the eighth Englishman to reach that particular milestone.
The Chelsea midfielder made his international debut under Kevin Keegan at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, in a 2-1 friendly win over Belgium in October 1999. Since that match he has gone on to captain the side five times, and has scored 29 goals.
England currently sit top of Group H, but defeat would see Ukraine go above them.
With two games of the qualifying campaign left after Tuesday, both of them at Wembley Stadium, a loss at the Olympic Stadium would see even more pressure mounted on Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson.
Get the Result
Talking ahead of the game, Lampard said, as reported by BBC Sport: “The main thing is to get the result. I just hope to be involved.
“It wouldn’t be enjoyable to get to 100 and not do it right. I never dreamt of getting anywhere near 100 caps to be honest.
“I will be very proud, 100 is a long time [playing], but first and foremost we need three points. I’d love to fly back from Ukraine with three points because that would put us in a strong position.”
Hodgson’s side come into the game off the back of the 4-0 home win over Moldova, while their opponents have won their previous four qualifiers, scoring 18 goals.
When the sides last met at Wembley back in September last year, a late Lampard penalty vitally secured a 1-1 draw.
When asked about the previous meeting and Mykhailo Fomenko’s current side, the former West Ham United man added: “They had a bad start to the group but against us they played with a lot of talent, they have a lot of technical ability and pace on the wings.
“I don’t think we were at our best that night but to not lose when you’re not at your best is a good thing. We’ll go there conscious they’re a strong team but confident in our own abilities. We’ve got the team to get a result, no doubt.”
A win would take England a step closer to qualifying for next year’s World Cup, but with several key attacking options unavailable due to injury, or, in Danny Welbeck’s case, suspension, it certainly won’t be easy.