Poland v England preview
England will face one of their toughest games in the World Cup qualifying campaign on Tuesday when they take on Poland in Warsaw.
Last Updated: 16/10/12 10:23am
England will face one of their toughest games in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign on Tuesday when they take on Poland in Warsaw.
The Three Lions head into the encounter at Stadion Narodowy as Group H leaders with seven points from three matches, two places and three points ahead of their hosts, who have a game in hand.
Roy Hodgson's side are full of confidence, having defeated San Marino 5-0 at Wembley on Friday, with Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck scoring twice each.
Rooney was the England captain for that game, but he will lose the armband to Steven Gerrard, who returns after serving a suspension.
Despite England's pre-match status as favourites, Hodgson refuses to underestimate Poland.
"We know we've got a strong opponent, we know that they're going to be very well supported by the home crowd," he said.
"For them it's an important moment playing at home against England to try and get their qualifying campaign off to a good start.
"We're aware of those things and all we can do is go onto the field well prepared and do the best we can do."
Poland coach Waldemar Fornalik understands that picking up maximum points against the 1966 World Cup winners even at home is not going to be simple, but warns that they are not going to make it easy.
"A wise man told me that if you try to draw a game, you lose," he said on Monday. "If you try to win, it is possible to win.
"I've always told my teams we have to go for the three points. The way we plan this game might be different but the objective is to win."
Gerrard returns from suspension against Poland and will take over the captain's armband from Rooney.
Defender Glen Johnson too makes his return from a ban, but Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand are out injured.
Theo Walcott was forced to withdraw from the squad with a chest problem he suffered against San Marino.
Joleon Lescott, James Milner and Jermain Defoe all were rested against San Marino on Friday and will be back for the Poland clash.
Poland will be without captain Jakub Blaszczykowski and striker Artur Sobiech through injuries, but midfielder Eugen Polanski, who was given leave to return to his family this week for personal reasons, is available to play.
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is out for the Poles, and his place between the posts is expected to be taken by Przemyslaw Tyton.