As expected, Peter Crouch was handed his first start under Fabio Capello for England’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at Wembley tonight.
With Emile Heskey, Carlton Cole and Darren Bent all pulling out injured and Gabriel Agbonlahor called up too late to take part in a single training session, Capello went for Crouch to lead the line as England put their 100% record on the line against the only other unbeaten side in Group Six.
Rio Ferdinand was the other outfield change from the side which defeated Slovakia on Saturday after recovering from a groin strain.
David James also returned in goal with Ben Foster and Agbonlahor on the bench.
Capello also went with Aaron Lennon’s pace ahead of David Beckham’s delivery from the right side of midfield.
However, it was the axis of Steven Gerrard and the in-form Wayne Rooney which provided England’s best hope of maintaining their 100% record.
With seven goals in his last four internationals, Rooney is on fire at present and was hoping to celebrate his 50th cap by maintaining that hot streak.