Michael Carrick Replaces Frank Lampard in England Lineup vs. Poland
The English national football team face a virtual must-win situation against Poland in their final World Cup qualifying match of group play on Tuesday if they hope to earn an automatic bid to Brazil. And it appears as though manager Roy Hodgson is pulling out all the stops, as Michael Carrick will replace Frank Lampard at midfield in England's starting lineup, according to The Football Association.
England Team: Hart, Smalling, Baines, Gerrard, Cahill, Jagielka, Townsend, Carrick, Sturridge, Rooney, Welbeck #EngvPol— The FA (@FA) October 15, 2013
It is somewhat surprising to see Lampard out of the lineup in such a big match, but Carrick brings something different to the table.
Is replacing Lampard with Carrick a good move by Hodgson?
Carrick is just three years younger than Lampard; however, he has far less international experience. Carrick has played just 30 games for the senior national team, while Lampard has played 101. Carrick has also never scored for England, so he isn't in the lineup for his goal-scoring acumen.
This seems like a tactical maneuver on Hodgson's part, since Lampard is clearly the better player in a vacuum. He isn't in great form this season, though, with just two goals in 10 appearances for Chelsea.
If England are going to qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday, though, they will have to do so without Lampard in the starting lineup. A win over Poland would guarantee qualification, but anything other than that would put England in a precarious position.
Ukraine trail England by just one point, and a win over lowly San Marino is almost certain. Anything other than a win means that England may have to go through the playoff process, but Hodgson clearly hopes and believes that Carrick's insertion into the lineup will help England avoid that.
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