WC Qual - UEFA

September 7, 2012



0 - 5


Group H

18:45 +00:00, September 7, 2012

Stadionul Zimbru

Moldova v England: Preview

Team Stat Comparison

Moldova England
Matches Played 10 10
Table Position 5 1
Points 11 22
Goal Difference -5 27
Goals for * 0.8 3.0
Goals against * 1.4 0.4
Last 5 W-W-L-D-L W-W-D-W-W
Last 5 home W-D-L W-W-W
Last 5 away W-L D-W
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Moldova | England

Competition Stats

Moldova England
Goals Eugen Sidorenco 4 Steven Gerrard 2
Assists Alexandru Antoniuc 3 Rickie Lambert 2
Yellows Aleksandr Gatskan 3 Kyle Walker 2
Squads: Moldova | England

England coach Roy Hodgson has warned his side not to expect an easy start to their World Cup qualifying campaign against Moldova tomorrow evening.

The Moldovan players are set to earn a sizeable cash bonus from their employees if they can cause an upset by holding England to a draw in their Group H opener.

But, even without those financial incentives, Hodgson knows England can ill afford to be complacent against a side who twice lost by only a single goal to Holland in the 2012 World Cup qualifiers.

He said: "You know if you don't prepare for a tough game or an opponent that is going to be well organised and disciplined in defence, then you are not preparing for the game properly.

"We are aware of that and this is a team capable of playing well and causing problems so we won't under-estimate them.

"We are well aware that a very strong Holland team only won here 1-0 and at home only won 1-0 as well.

"The Moldovans' bonus system will have to be their bonus system. We have our own fish to fry and we want to try and win the game.''

Hodgson is glad to have started his role in time to lead England into Euro 2012 even though he had little time to prepare for the tournament.

He is excited about the blend of youth and experience he feels is starting to gel together.

Hodgson said: "It was a good time for me to start with a tournament even though it wasn't an easy time.

"It was good for me because I feel much more confident knowing about players going into these first qualifiers than I would have done had I been employed after the tournament and this would have been the first squad I selected.

"I'm really positive at the moment that we have a group of players who will balance youth and experience.''

The former West Brom boss is also confident England can deal with a less than perfect surface to perform on tomorrow evening.

He said: "I have a very experienced group of players and they will have played on many pitches in many places around the world and I don't envisage any particular problems there.

"It is up to us to deal with whatever playing surface we play on.

"I'm sure Moldova will want to play on the best possible surface also and will be trying to get the pitch in the best possible condition.''

Hodgson is missing a number of players through injury, including Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole, Ashley Young and Andy Carroll.

The absence of Rooney, in particular, and Carroll is a big boost for Moldova, according to their assistant manager Ion Testemitanu, who believes his side are capable of causing an upset.

"Rooney not playing is very, very big for us - we are very lucky,'' Testemitanu said on BBC Sport.

"Andy Carroll not playing is also good news. We have a chance now. Anyone can win on any day.''

Testemitanu, who played for Bristol City in England, knows it will not be easy though for a side ranked 141st in the world. England are third.

"We are realistic and understand who England are and will be careful from the first minute to the 90th,'' he added.

"England are always very good - there are no secrets. I saw how they played at Euro 2012 and was impressed.''