Roy Hodgson trying to remember where Moldova is
The Three Lions face Moldova in their first 2014 World Cup qualifier. Get ready for some English angst!
First off: Yes, Moldova is an actual place. It's uh... somewhere between Romania and Ukraine, for those of you who enjoy your Balkan-ish history. They have an actual football team too, one that's on occasion capable of earning a draw in the qualifying rounds of major tournaments. A draw is exactly what England will be dreading in their first match of the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign, which sees the Three Lions travelling to Chișinău in the hopes of exchanging the whole lot of felines for some precious, precious points.
Make no mistake, England should win this one handily. No, Moldova aren't the worst team in the group -- that honour falls to San Marino, a country so small that it was once conquered by a particularly ferocious ocelot -- but they possess absolutely nothing close to the quality of their visitors. However, there's every chance that this ends up being a tough game for Roy Hogdson and company, and when a should-win-handily becomes an it's-alarming-close-an-hour-in and it's England who are favourites, much amusement is to be had.
So, here's how it's probably going to go down. England will play poorly, score a goal in the first half, get a second around the hour mark and then get their third in injury time. This will be reported as an unfair scoreline, and Hodgson will be castigated for his side playing so poorly. That or it'll be like 5-0 with brilliant, free-wheeling football and everyone will be happy, but come on. England. Without Wayne Rooney, no less.
Date/Time: Friday, 7:45 p.m. BST, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Wherever "Zimbru Stadium, Chişinău" is.
Television: ITV 1 (U.K.), Sportsnet (Canada)
Live streaming: ESPN 3 (U.S.)