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Lambert to start for England


00:13 6th September 2013

England manager Roy Hodgson says Rickie Lambert will be in the starting line-up to face Moldova at Wembley on Friday night.

Lambert, who came off the bench to score the winner against Scotland last month, is handed his full debut for the World Cup qualifier as the road to Brazil continues.

The Three Lions are without fellow strikers Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney through injury, which has helped boost Southampton’s number seven further up the pecking order.

“We all know the importance of the game,” said Rickie shortly after finding out the news of his starting role.

“As players we put pressure on and motivate ourselves, and we know what is coming and we are ready for it. 

“Roy (Hodgson) has been setting us up for Moldova to try and win that game, and it has been going well. 

“We are at home, in front of our own fans, so obviously we fancy ourselves. We’ve come off a good win against Scotland so we are confident, especially myself, and I can’t wait for Friday to begin.” 

Hodgson confessed that he may not have handed Lambert a start if other options had been available, but has backed the Saints star to play his part on Friday night.

"He deserves a chance," said the manager. 

"I can't deny had Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge been available, it would have been harder for him to get a starting place, but I am more than happy to have a player of his calibre to start this game." 

England play Moldova in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Friday evening, kick-off 8pm.

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