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Young players ready to step up for England

  • Reuters, Monday, September 10, 2012 5:53 PM

Despite injuries to many of his veteran players, England coach Roy Hodgson is pleased that some youngsters seem ready to take on important roles. Heading into a World Cup qualifying match against Ukraine on Tuesday, Hodgson praised the performances of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 19, and Tom Cleverley, 23, playing confidently alongside veterans Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in a 4-2-3-1 formation as England thrashed Moldova, 5-0, on Friday. Lampard, playing in a deeper role, still scored twice to take his international total to 25, good for 13th place on his nation's all-time scoring list.

Hodgson is expected to retain most of the starting lineup against Ukraine including Cleverley, who impressed playing for Great Britain during the Olympic Games.

"The Games were good for him and important for me as well because that is where I sort of 'discovered' him, although of course I knew about him before," said Hodgson. "You could call him an attacking midfielder but he's an attacking midfielder in the same way as Cesc Fabregas, he's capable of coming back and winning the ball where necessary."

Defender John Terry won't play Tuesday. He suffered a knock against Moldova and limped off two minutes before the end with an ankle injury. Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, Ashley Cole and Scott Parker are also injured, while Theo Walcott (virus) is also sidelined.

Read the whole story at Reuters »

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