Saints star set to start for England
Southampton’s Rickie Lambert is to start for England this evening as injuries severely deplete the national team.
As BBC Sport reports, Daniel Sturridge is the latest casualty to be added to the already lengthy withdrawal list.
The Liverpool forward has travelled back to his club to have treatment on a thigh injury and will be assessed before Tuesday’s crucial match against Ukraine.
Danny Welbeck and Jermain Defoe are the only strikers left at Roy Hodgson’s disposal.
Wayne Rooney earlier pulled out of the squad after a collision in training with team-mate Phil Jones left him with a huge cut on his head.
The England boss confirmed that Welbeck will, along with Theo Walcott, provide assistance for Lambert in a three pronged attack, leaving Defoe as a substitution option.
Hodgson still remains optimistic about his attacking options, however:
“We still have enough firepower with Lambert and Defoe to replace Sturridge and Rooney even though it would be wrong of me to say they are not players who will be missed,” BBC Sport reports Hodgson as saying.
Lambert will start his first game for the national side after scoring with his first ever touch as an England player in the 3-2 victory against Scotland in August.
Lambert was last season’s top scoring English striker in the English Premier League and proved that he could be as effective in the top flight as he was in League One and the Championship with the Saints.
He racked up a total of 15 goals last season and has begun this one in a similar vein: scoring the winning goal on the opening day of the season against West Bromwich Albion.