Football

England must not play for a draw in Ukraine

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England's World Cup qualifying campaign has been mixed to say the least.

Yes, Roy Hodgson's men currently top Group C and during their seven matches so far, they have amassed 25 goals.

However, their only wins have come against minnows San Marino and Moldova, and they have looked suspect against the better sides in the group, most notably in Montenegro where the Three Lions were lucky to escape with a draw.

Whilst a point tonight would constitute a good result for Hodgson's England, if they play for a draw there's a good chance they won't get it.

Teams that travel to an away match with the must not lose mantra are often too negative and too tentative. This allows the opposition to dominate the match and England simply can't afford to allow Ukraine to take the upper-hand in the pressure-cauldron that is Kiev's Olympic Stadium.

Of course, taking risks is not on the agenda tonight. But the England players should have the confidence and ability to take the game to their opponents without doing anything that could jeopardise their chances of coming home with a good result.

The side will include the likes of Jack Wilshere and Rickie Lambert, both of whom are inexperienced at international level, and it is up to the old heads of the squad to ensure they keep their cool this evening.

Even with a relatively young side the fact remains that England are capable of victory.

Whether Hodgson believes that or not is a different matter but he must realise that playing for a draw could cost him qualification for the finals in Brazil next summer.

In truth, the pressure is on Ukraine to win tonight as a point may not be enough to avoid the dreaded play-off draw, which this time round could include the likes of Portugal and France.

This is something Hodgson should take advantage of. Ukraine need a win as much as England dare not lose, but playing not to lose will be comparable to footballing suicide.

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Topics:
England Football
Football
World Cup

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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