Five things to take from England’s win over Moldova

The Three Lions dispatched the eastern European minnows 4-0 on Friday night to move to the top of World Cup Qualification Group H.

A brace from Danny Welbeck and goals from Steven Gerrard and Rickie Lambert were good enough to see England record an easy 4-0 win over Moldova on Friday.

A more comprehensive test is expected on Tuesday when Roy Hodgson’s men travel to Kiev to play an in-form Ukraine.

Despite the relative ease in which victory was ascertained, here are five things that are evident following the game.

Danny Welbeck is an important man for England

Welbeck’s role for club and country has started to become apparent at the start of this season. Two well-taken goals continue his solid goalscoring record at international level and will give the Manchester United man continued confidence.

A harsh yellow card will rob England of Welbeck for the Ukraine clash, and Hodgson has a decision to make in terms of who to partner with Lambert.

4-4-2 or 4-5-1 versus Ukraine?

With Welbeck’s suspension and a distinct lack of attacking options at his disposal, Hodgson may well opt to play Southampton’s Lambert as the lone striker in midweek.

Bringing in someone like Ashley Young or James Milner on the flank would give England a compact three-man central midfield. Leighton Baines could even be used on the left flank to combat the threat of Andriy Yarmolenko.

Alternatively, if Daniel Sturridge is fit he will almost certainly play. If not, a 4-4-2 system with Jermain Defoe introduced is also an option.

Barkley gets the first of many England caps

It was great to see Hodgson give Ross Barkley a chance to make his international bow in the clash after the game was all-but won. It is a great reward for a young man that has shown incredible ability but also had to deal with debilitating injuries in his short career to date.

The Everton star will look to continue good form and be a regular feature for his country. A spot on the plane to Brazil, presuming there is one, is there for Barkley to take.

Hart, Jagielka and Cahill – jury still out

The defensive trio have all had question marks over their places in the team in recent internationals, with all three certainly keen to prove their worth to the doubters. However, they were very rarely challenged in a one-sided game.

That said, the defence should take solace in the clean sheet – only the second in the last 11 outings. A more stern test awaits in Kiev.

Ukraine will be a considerable step up

Ukraine put San Marino the sword 9-0 on Friday also, making it four victories on the bounce for Mykhaylo Fomenko's team.

England can expect a tougher test than they received in their 1-0 win over the hosts in Euro 2012 and the level of performance will need to increase further if the visitors are to get anything from the game. It will undoubtedly be the toughest test in the qualification process.

image: © geetarchurchy

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