World Cup qualifier: Frank Lampard to win 100th England cap against Ukraine
England boss praises midfielder as he prepares to join team-mates Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole in passing the century mark
Monday 09 September 2013
England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that midfielder Frank Lampard will win his 100th cap against Ukraine in the World Cup Group H qualifier on Tuesday night.
It will be another milestone in a magnificent career that has seen the 35-year-old win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and captain Chelsea to glory in both the Champions League and Europa League.
"Lampard will play tomorrow night," Hodgson said.
"That's quite a first. I'm happy to have been part of that. All things being equal Frank will play and start the game tomorrow and win his 100th cap
"I don't think there will be many players who will play for England for two or three years let alone 14 years.
"Fourteen years is a long time to be representing your country. We don't have that many international matches so I think people who want to play 100 games for their country have to play for a team that wins major international tournaments and play for a very long time."
Lampard will play alongside two other Englishmen who have won 100 caps for their country in captain Steven Gerrard and defender Ashley Cole.
Hodgson also confirmed that he would only make one change to the side which beat Moldova 4-0 at Wembley on Friday night.
That will be to replace striker Danny Welbeck, who picked up his second yellow card of World Cup qualification in the match where he also scored twice for the Three Lions.
"There are always options with regards to the system. We have got two definite forwards with us," Hodgson said.
"One can play behind him. In terms of the wide areas where Danny Welbeck started the other days as a wide left forward, we have plenty of players who can play in that position.
"Basically there will only be one change in the team and that will be the person who replaces Danny Welbeck. I will leave it to you to make your assumptions."
Hodgson also refused to downplay the difficulty of beating Ukraine in Kiev.
He said: "It is two teams, two good teams in the group, both of which are capable of winning the group, so it's a cup final in that respect and you have to play well enough to win that game."
As well as headlines about defender Kyle Walker apologising for being photographed inhaling a legal high during the summer, Hodgson woke up to reports of three England fans being injured during an attack in Kiev on Sunday.
"We deplore that, everyone deplores that and I'm certain people in Kiev deplore that," Hodgson said.
"I don't know the circumstances. It's unfortunate these things can happen when football fans get together. I'm sad it's occurred and I only hope our fans are not going to be put off and the fans aren't so badly injured they can't attend the game."
Back on the good news of Lampard's 100th cap, captain Steven Gerrard is looking forward to welcoming him to an elite club.
Gerrard and Ashley Cole will both equal Billy Wright's 105 caps against Ukraine, and the Liverpool man said: "It's going to be a fantastic occasion for Frank and I'm delighted for him.
"Me and Ashley did that recently and will move on to be level with the legend in Billy Wright, and we all want to remember it for the right result. I lost on my 100th cap but hopefully it will be different for Frank."
It has been suggested that this is the last chance for the likes of Cole, Gerrard and Lampard to win a major trophy with England and the skipper intends to leave nothing on the field in Kiev.
"We're hoping to use our experience and this is our last crack at doing well at a World Cup," he said.
Gerrard also believes Wayne Rooney's absence can be overcome, adding: "He's a world-class player and any team would miss him, but we have more than enough in the squad and XI to do the job."
More to follow...
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