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Tottenham striker in England side to face Moldova

Jermain Defoe. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. Jermain Defoe. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

Friday, September 7, 2012
7:22 PM

England boss Roy Hodgson sprang a surprise in Chisinau tonight by naming Jermain Defoe and Tom Cleverley in his starting line-up for the opening World Cup qualifier with Moldova.

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It had been anticipated Manchester United duo Danny Welbeck and Michael Carrick would be part of Hodgson’s team.

Instead, Defoe won his 50th cap as he got the call for his first competitive start since September 2010, with Cleverley providing extra attacking impetus from midfield less than a month after making his international debut in the friendly win over Italy.

As expected, Glen Johnson was chosen at right-back ahead of Kyle Walker, while Joleon Lescott and John Terry’s Euro 2012 central defensive partnership was renewed.

With Ashley Cole sidelined by an ankle problem, Leighton Baines made his first competitive start at left-back.

Frank Lampard joined skipper Steven Gerrard in midfield, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner filling the wide berths.

England XI: Hart, Johnson, Baines, Gerrard, Lescott, Terry, Milner, Lampard, Defoe, Cleverley, Oxlade-Chamberlain.

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