Hodgson to call up old guard for Warsaw duty


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The Independent Online

Roy Hodgson is preparing to make up to six changes for England's World Cup qualifier against Poland tomorrow night from the team that beat San Marino 5-0 on Friday.

Having praised his less experienced players in the win at Wembley, he is ready to turn to the established members of the squad for the far tougher test in Warsaw.

In defence as many as three changes are possible, with Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill and Leighton Baines potentially giving way to Glen Johnson, who was suspended for Friday, Joleon Lescott and Ashley Cole. In the midfield, either Michael Carrick or Tom Cleverley will have to make room for the captain Steven Gerrard, who was also suspended on Friday.

Theo Walcott has returned to Arsenal for treatment on the bruised lung that he sustained within the first eight minutes of Friday's game and his place will probably be taken by James Milner.

Danny Welbeck, scorer of two of the goals against San Marino, could well hold on to his place in attack but he faces competition from Jermain Defoe, who started the first two qualifiers, against Moldova and Ukraine. Lescott, Johnson and Defoe were all rested by Hodgson on Friday because they are each one booking away from a one-game suspension.

England will fly to Warsaw today and will train at the National Stadium tonight. Their opponents have more serious injury concerns, with captain Jakub Blaszczykowski of Borussia Dortmund out of the game as well as Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. The Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek is a doubt.

The England manager is still without Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand, the latter a late call-up, as a result of injury and illness respectively. Lampard has not recovered from the calf injury that caused him to miss the qualifier against San Marino and Bertrand has been struck down with a viral infection.

Cleverley said yesterday that he hoped to keep his place. He added: "I felt like I did well on Friday night and all I want to do is to play so I would be disappointed not to [be picked]. If not selected that is not the end of my job. I know I can be used at any time, so you have got to be prepared whatever the manager chooses."