England v Poland: Roy Hodgson anxious before World Cup qualifier

2014 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING GROUP H

  • Venue: Wembley Stadium
  • Date: Tuesday, 15 October
  • Kick-off: 20:00 BST

Coverage: BBC Sport website live text & BBC Radio 5 live commentary

England manager Roy Hodgson expects to have a sleepless night worrying about his side's decisive World Cup qualifier against Poland at Wembley on Tuesday.

Hodgson's team will reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a win, but anything less would see Ukraine top Group H if they beat San Marino.

"I am a worrier," said Hodgson, 66. "It won't be my best night's sleep.

"Things happen in games you don't always want to happen and that is what makes you worry a bit."

The sides drew 1-1 earlier in the group, when they met in Warsaw in October 2012.

Another draw, or a defeat for England could leave Ukraine to claim the only automatic qualification place and take Hodgson's side into a two-legged play-off against one of the other seven best runners-up from the European qualifying groups.

World Cup Qualifying Group H

Played Won Points GD

England

9

5

19

+25

Ukraine

9

5

18

+16

Montenegro

9

4

15

+4

Poland

9

3

13

+8

Moldova

9

2

8

-8

San Marino

9

0

0

-45

"I'm not thinking of the play-offs," added Hodgson, who managed Switzerland at the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

"I don't think we shall be very satisfied if we don't win. We know we've got the play-offs but I don't think that will affect the attitude of the players.

"We're a good team, we're at home and we want to win."

England have not been beaten at Wembley since the 3-2 friendly loss against the Netherlands in February 2012 and impressed in Friday's 4-1 win against Montenegro.

Andros Townsend has picked up an injury since he scored on his debut in the victory, but Hodgson expects him to be fit and face a new level of scrutiny.

"With Andros making his debut it was always going to be a big game for him and he deserves a tremendous amount of credit," added Hodgson ahead of his 22nd game as manager of the national side.

"If he plays again on Tuesday it will be different as every time he doesn't control a ball well people will ask 'what is wrong with Andros Townsend?'"

Poland's hopes of a place at next year's World Cup ended with a 1-0 defeat in Ukraine last week.

"Some will argue having nothing to play for weakens you, others will say having nothing to play for at Wembley in front of 90,000 people will be very inspiring," added Hodgson, who conceded the FA's decision to double the ticket allocation to Polish fans will boost the visiting side.

"We've got to put those thoughts out of our mind. They will pick the team they want to pick. The big question is about us, we have to come out and perform in the same way as we did on Friday."