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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 ESPN3.com 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.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Matt

    September 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    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

    • The Gaffer

      September 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      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.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Matt

        September 9, 2012 at 2:55 am

        Basically a setup similar to the champion’s league. I like it.

  2. dust

    September 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    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.

  3. Guy

    September 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Happy for LB, but I can’t watch any more of that.

  4. dust

    September 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    lookinf at the replays…oohhh…Moldova are pretty bad…sunday league goalkeeping

  5. dust

    September 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    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

    • dust

      September 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      moldovia ….no idea why I added an i…. I guess because its in eastern Europe i subconsciously added an i…sorry Moldova

  6. BD

    September 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I am really upset with you Alex. You couldn’t post the Moldova starting lineup? How dare you…….

  7. dust

    September 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    i wonder why the Wales v Belgium game isn’t available on espn3

  8. Dust

    September 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Just as I post that Gerrard makes a great fun and pass that Defoe should have put away….typical. Let’s hope he continues

  9. Guy

    September 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    England looking like Liverpool in front of net.

  10. Dust

    September 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    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.

  11. The Gaffer

    September 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Wow, that was fast!

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

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