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England striker Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out of his side’s important World Cup qualifier against Ukraine, leaving manager Roy Hodgson with limited options in final third of the field.
Injuries to Manchester United ace Wayne Rooney, West Ham United forward Andy Carroll and in-form Liverpool striker Sturridge have left the Three Lions boss with his attacking resources stretched to the limit.
Hodgson was hoping he would be able to call upon the services of Sturridge for the trip to Kiev, after the 24-year-old sat out England’s 4-0 victory over Moldova on Friday.
However the former Manchester City and Chelsea forward has failed to recover from a thigh injury in time for the game which England are determined to win to strengthen their position in Group H ahead of the World Cup in Brazil next year.
With Danny Welbeck picking up a suspension from that victory over Moldova at Wembley, Hodgson is now left with two recognised strikers in the form of Southampton’s Rickie Lambert and Tottenham Hotspur’s Jermain Defoe.
Lambert made his first start for the Three Lions on Friday and bagged his second goal in two games, having scored the winner in his debut against Scotland as a substitute last month.
Defoe has had limited action for Spurs this season but his experience at international level should see him figure in the difficult encounter with Ukraine, with Arsenal Theo Walcott also capable of leading the attack.
Hodgson has insisted he is not considering drafting any new strikers into the squad before they leave for the Ukraine on Sunday evening.