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Rickie Lambert confident ahead of England qualifying clash
SOUTHAMPTON striker Rickie Lambert is confident that he can maintain his excellent record at international level when England take on Ukraine in Kiev tomorrow night (kick-off 7.45pm).
The 31-year-old made it two goals in two games for England at Wembley on Friday night, stooping to head home his side’s second goal in a 4-0 win over Moldova.
He went on to create two further goals for strike partner Danny Welbeck and, with Welbeck suspended and both Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge injured for the trip to Ukraine, Lambert is almost certain to lead the line once more.
It’s a vital game at the top of World Cup Qualifying Group H. England currently lead the way, one point ahead of Ukraine, so victory would give them a great chance of reaching the World Cup in Brazil next summer, while defeat could leave them struggling to make it through.
Lambert says confidence is high in the camp – and admits that he couldn’t have dreamt of making a better start to life on the international stage.
“It’s been a surreal few weeks,” he said. “To score on my debut and again on Friday night, it’s a dream and I’m hoping there’s more to come.
“Whatever the gaffer’s plans for me on Tuesday, I’m confident.
“Whether that’s starting or off the bench, I’m confident when I get a chance, I’ll put it away.
“We’re in a good place at the minute. The boys are really confident and there is a feel-good factor around. We’re looking forward to it.”
Basingstoke-born midfielder Tom Cleverley will be hoping to be involved tomorrow after being left out of the side that beat Moldova on Friday.
Reading lost 2-0 at home to international side Oman in a challenge match at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, the visitors scoring a goal in each half.
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