Potential World Cup play-off stars for England to beware (1)

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Football News

If England don't beat Poland at Wembley on Tuesday night, their inclusion at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil next summer could be decided by a dreaded two-legged play-off.

With the calibre of teams facing an uncertain future alarmingly high, Roy Hodgson will be determined to follow Friday's 4-1 thrashing of Montenegro with three more points in the Three Lions' final qualifying game in Group H.

Victory will ensure England finish top of their group, and can begin their preparations for the tournament trip to South America. But, failure to do so will leave Hodgson hurriedly working out the permutations that could determine their fate.

The top eight second-placed sides in all of the European qualifying groups will be split into two separate pots - based on their current world ranking - and drawn against an opponent to fight it out for a spot at the World Cup.

Thankfully for England (17th), the prospect of facing the likes of Portugal (11th), Russia (15th), or Croatia (10th) has been ruled out, as too has Greece (12th) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (19th).

However, with France ranked at a lowly 25th, there is a strong chance they could be pitted against the Three Lions, should they finish as runners-up in their group.

Scandinavian sides Denmark (23rd) and Sweden (22nd) could provide equally stern tests over two legs, whilst countries like Turkey and Romania might also be tricky ties to avoid.

With England's World Cup qualifying future fresh on everyone's mind, here are five players that could cause Hodgson and Co. some problems should they fall into the play-offs…

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