If Hodgson’s England beat Montenegro then Poland striker Robert Lewandowski will stand in the way of automatic World Cup qualification.
Friday night’s Wembley Stadium clash against Manchester City’s Steven Jovetic and company is by no means a guaranteed three points, but a win will mean that victory the following Tuesday will ensure Roy Hodgson and his selection of 23 players will have booked their flights to Brazil next summer.
One man who will have the task of stopping that and sending England into a possible play-off is the Borussia Dortmund striker who’s reportedly heading to German rivals Bayern Munich in July, much to the disappointment of United fans who had hoped he was on his way to Old Trafford back in the summer of 2012.
Despite Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, the rumours continued through David Moyes’ first pre-season about a move for the man who scored 24 league goals in 2012/13, along with ten in a Champions League campaign which ended with a devastating late defeat to Munich at Wembley, but once again a transfer never materialised in a frustrating first summer market for the new-look United staff.
Lewandowski has started this season in the same vein, scoring six times in eight league outings and he’ll be hoping to add to his international tally of 12 goals against Ukraine on Friday and at Wembley one week today.
For Hodgson, he’ll certainly have trouble sleeping on Monday evening if the game remains must-win. But he could be having sweet dreams of Rio de Janeiro if the front-man guides Poland to a win in Kharkov against the Ukrainians along with a Wembley win for the English in three night’s time as that would mean just one point would be required on Tuesday, rather than three.