Moldova vs England, 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Open Thread

England’s path via the qualification rounds for the 2014 FIFA World Cup takes off today with an away match against Eastern European country Moldova (2:45pm ET on for readers in the United States). That’s a qualification path of 1 year, 9 months and 5 days – a brutally long and boring route that needlessly breaks up the club seasons at several inopportune times over the next 15 months.

But complain as I do about the awful international breaks, they’re not going to change anytime soon, so we may as well grin and bear it. England kicks off their match today missing several key players due to injury, but England still gets to field a strong side nevertheless.

England starting line-up: Hart; Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Baines; Milner, Gerrard, Lampard, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Cleverley; Defoe.

It’ll be important for England to get an early goal and a comfortable win today to set themselves up well for their match against Ukraine early next week.

Before, during and after today’s England match, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below. Feel free to chat about all of the other World Cup qualifying matches that are going on today, too.

15 thoughts on “Moldova vs England, 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Open Thread”

  1. Gerrard and Johnson look sloppy. How on earth did Johnson get picked in front of walker, especially against Moldova. Hodgson has no clue.

    Should not have been a penalty really, very unlucky, smashed at him from a yard away.

  2. I don’t think we should get carried away as it is only Moldovia. Ox has been full of energy, as surprisingly has old man Lampard, defoe finally on the sheet after missing a few.

    This should be the scoreline against a team as bad as Moldovia, saying that tho, in the past england haven’t been convincing against lesser opposition. Baines also looks good comfortable.

    …just as I write this, again on 39 mins exactly Gerrard looses the ball….ugghh

  3. I see a 10 man wales tried all they could but Belgium were just too good, Vertonghens free kick was great. he played left back which as I have said before, I feel he would be great for us at spurs. I think the Ideal Back four would be (when kaboul is back) Walker, Caulker, Kaboul, Vertonghen.

    I hope that is the way AVB sets up when he has all available.

  4. for those of you who “hate” international breaks, when do you want these games to be played? Come on, its not the end of the world, they have to play these qualifiers. One break a month isn’t the end of the world

    1. Hi Matt, here’s my suggestion (although it’ll never happen):

      Instead of a long, drawn-out qualification process that takes almost two years, I’d prefer to see a mini-tournament 6-9 months before a World Cup that allows the nations from the different confederations to play against each other. The mini-tournament would be seeded so that the minnows have to fight it out among themselves to qualify for the latter rounds of the tournament. From the mini-tournaments, each confederation would then have their winners who would be qualified to play in the World Cup.

      The Gaffer

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