Frank Lampard to earn 100th cap against Ukraine
England manager Roy Hodgson confirms 35-year-old will start in Kiev
England’s Frank Lampard during the training session at The Olympic Stadium, Kiev. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
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.
Ukraine coach Mykhaylo Fomenko admits the World Cup qualifier will be the biggest of his 34-year career in management.
Ukraine will move one step closer to the World Cup finals if they beat Hodgson’s patched-up squad to move two points clear at the top of the group.
Fomenko had his poker face on for much of today afternoon’s press conference. The 64-year-old did not give anything away about his team selection and he was reluctant to offer more than a few words when asked to assess the standard of Hodgson’s depleted party.
Indeed the only time the stony-faced coach gave any hint of emotion was when he was asked whether the visit of Hodgson’s team represented the biggest match of his long career.
“Not only of mine,” he said. “We don’t want to make you (the Ukrainian people) angry.”
After watching his team go six matches unbeaten, one would have expected Fomenko to be a little bit more outwardly confident about his team’s chances of success.
The fact England needed an 87th-minute penalty to salvage a point against the Ukrainians last year must also have given the hosts some hope. But there was little hint of any bravado or trash talk in the Olympic Stadium this afternoon from Fomenko.
When asked whether he thought England would miss star striker Wayne Rooney, all Fomenko would say was: “You should put this question to the coach of the national team of England.”
Fomenko offered little hint as to what his team selection might be.
Roman Zozulya, branded the next Andriy Shevchenko, is available for selection after sitting out the 9-0 win over San Marino while naturalised Brazilian Edmar could also feature.
“We will see,” were the only words he muttered when quizzed about team selection.
ENGLAND: Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Lescott, Baines; Lampard, Gerrard; Milner, Cleverley, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Defoe.
UKRAINE: Pyatov; Husyev, Mikhalik, Khacheridi, Selin; Tymoshchuk; Yarmolenko, Garmash, Konoplyanka; Devic, Zozulya.