Pressure on England boss Roy Hodgson ahead of crunch clash

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 15 October 2013, 09:17

Roy HodgsonRoy Hodgson faces the defining moment of his England career as he looks to lead England through to the World Cup Finals tonight. The Three Lions need a win to ensure that they will be on the plane to Brazil next June, but a failure to beat Poland at Wembley will pile the pressure on the 66-year-old ahead of the lottery of the play-offs, which could ultimately lead to the sack if England fail to progress.

Group H leaders England are currently a point ahead of second-placed Ukraine. However, Mykhaylo Fomenko’s troops are almost certainly guaranteed of recording three points away to minnows San Marino, which means that Hodgson’s men simply have to beat Poland at home. The FA have been heavily criticised for giving Poland a whopping allocation of 18,000 which makes up a quarter of the stadium. However, on the other hand it will create an electric atmosphere which is something Wembley has considerably lacked in the past.

Many England players will still be haunted by their woeful defeat at home to Croatia back in 2007. The 3-2 loss meant they failed to qualify for Euro 2008, with the infamous image of Steve McClaren feebly shivering under an umbrella bringing back painful memories. Hodgson will be hoping the pictures in Wednesday’s newspapers will showcase scenes of jubilation, not despair.

England are the hot 2/7 favourites with Paddy Power to record the win that win ensure that they travel to South America next summer. Daniel Sturridge can be backed at 9/2 to open the scoring on Tuesday night, while a 2-1 victory is available at 10/1 with Ladbrokes. Alternatively Poland can be found at 12/1 to shock the hosts, whereas a draw is priced at 11/2. Meanwhile Harry Redknapp and Jose Mourinho are among the favourites in the Next England Manager Market.

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