Date: September 04, 2013
Author: Nicholas McGee, Omnisport

England quartet miss training – Copy

Four members of England&aposs squad missed full training on Tuesday as they prepare for their upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier against Moldova.

Roy Hodgson's men head into the game at Wembley on Friday knowing they need to take maximum points if they are to overhaul Montenegro – who travel to Warsaw to face Poland – at the top of Group H.

England will be favourites for the contest with Ion Caras' men, who have taken just five points from their first seven games.

However, it remains to be seen whether Jack Wilshere, Daniel Sturridge, Steven Caulker and Jermain Defore will be able to take part after they participated in a recovery session away from the rest of the squad. 

Wilshere was brought off during Arsenal's 1-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday with stomach cramps, but it is Sturridge whose potential involvement is in the most doubt due to a thigh injury. 

Still, Theo Walcott, who netted in England's 3-2 friendly win over neighbours Scotland in August, is hopeful the Liverpool forward, who has scored each of his club's three league goals so far this term, will be able to feature against both Moldova and Ukraine – who England face in Kiev on Tuesday.

"Sturridge is here, that is a positive," Walcott said.

"Fingers crossed he'll be ok for Friday and Tuesday."

Arsenal attacker Walcott believes England have a good mix of players in their ranks, but insists they will not take Moldova lightly, despite their poor results in qualifying thus far. 

"We have a good balance between the old and young players in the squad and we're starting to show that at Wembley," Walcott added. 

"We're professional and know the task ahead. We have to treat Moldova with respect."