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England Comment: Five things Roy Hodgson's side have to do to beat Poland
England entertain Poland tomorrow knowing a victory will guarantee them a place in next year's World Cup finals. Chief Sports Writer Scott Wilson identifies five things they have to do in order to secure the result they need
Select James Milner ahead of Danny Welbeck
Given the effectiveness of England's attacking in the second half of Friday's win over Montenegro, there will be a temptation to select the same side and system tomorrow.
However, that would be to under-estimate the threat posed by a Poland side whose entire attacking game is based around the thrusts of right winger, Jakub Blaszcykowski, and the goalscoring prowess of his Borussia Dortmund team-mate, Robert Lewandowski.
Blaszcykowski is Poland's creative fulcrum, and England will set themselves up for a fall if they station Danny Welbeck on the left-hand side and ask the Manchester United attacker to provide the only cover ahead of the attack-minded Leighton Baines.
James Milner has his limitations, but his positional discipline and work-rate are two of his greatest strengths. By playing Milner on the left, Roy Hodgson should also be much more inclined to stick with Friday's match winner, Andros Townsend, on the opposite flank.
Use Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney's movement to pull Poland's centre-halves out of position
While Poland look fairly useful going forward, they have severe limitations at the opposite end of the field, and England's attacking movement and interplay should create opportunities.
The Poles are expected to name Steaua Bucharest's Lukasz Szukala and Torino's Kamil Glik as their two centre-halves, and their performances in the qualifying campaign to date suggest that neither is particularly reliable nor mobile.
Daniel Sturridge is the ideal attacker for a game like this, as his willingness to run into the channels should pull players out of position and expose gaps at the heart of the Polish back four.
Wayne Rooney should be capable of exploiting those gaps, and just as Friday's game witnessed a growing relationship between England's new first-choice attackers, so it is to be hoped that tomorrow's match sees plenty of fluidity in terms of who is thrusting into the heart of the penalty area.
Endeavour to play at as high a tempo as possible
When this current England side are at their best, they are playing the game at speed, whether that means popping the ball around at pace or hassling and harrying when out of possession.
Dictating the pace of a game has not always been one of England's strengths, but particularly at Wembley, it is imperative that the home side's players ensure the match is played on their terms, and that means adopting an energetic approach from the outset.
That doesn't mean tearing around like headless chickens, or constantly looking to pump long balls into the box as soon as they've spent a moment or two in possession.
But it does mean pressing up whenever possible in an attempt to box Poland in, and moving the ball around quickly in order to take advantage of the pace and movement of England's attackers.
Ensure that either Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard is always prepared to sit
The lack of a natural holding midfielder has been a chronic problem for quite a while now, and Roy Hodgson's preferred solution is to name two players at the base of midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation, hoping that one will generally be in position when required.
Neither Steven Gerrard nor Frank Lampard are naturals for the role, even though the former has gradually begun to drop deeper when playing for Liverpool in recent seasons.
Montenegro didn't cause too many problems on Friday, but when they did threaten, it tended to be because Stevan Jovetic had found a pocket of space in front of England's back four.
Poland don't really possess a natural number ten, but Gerrard and Lampard shouldn't use that as an excuse to be too cavalier, especially in the early stages of the game.
Be patient, especially if an early goal fails to arrive
For all that they eventually scored four goals, one of the most positive things about England's display on Friday was the way in which they refused to panic when they failed to break the deadlock in the first half.
While England need to win tomorrow, they don't have to settle things in the opening 15 minutes, so patience will be the watchword before the game eventually begins to open up.
With nothing to play for, it is unlikely that Poland will be as defensively minded as Montenegro were in Friday's first half. That might not be good news for the England defence, but it should mean more space at the opposite end of the field.
The longer the game remains goalless, the more the nerves will begin to jangle. But England must stick to their game plan and not be lured into trying ever more adventurous things that are unlikely to come off.
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