The Three Lions head to Moldova for the first game on Friday 7 September, before returning to England and the match with Ukraine on Tuesday 11 September.
Hodgson was already without Wayne Rooney and his attacking options took another hit over the weekend when Liverpool’s Andy Carrol got injured during his West Ham debut and has been withdrawn from the squad. For some reason Hodgson has not opted to replace Carroll, leaving England with only three recognized strikers for the two games; Jermain Defoe, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck. Interestingly, two of those, Sturridge and Welbeck are not even first choice for their clubs.
And that is a theme of Hodgson’s England squad. If you exclude the goalkeepers, there are 19 players in Hodgson’s squad, and almost half of them start on a regular basis for their clubs.
Also missing for at least the Moldova game is Chelsea left-back Ashely Cole who has a ankle injury. The injury has ended Cole’s hopes of becoming the first full-back to win 100 caps during this month’s double-header. He is currently on 98 and will have to wait until at least next month to reach his century. Hodgson is unlikely to call up cover, with Leighton Baines and Ryan Bertrand having both been named in the original squad.
Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich City).
Leighton Baines (Everton), Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), John Terry (Chelsea), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).
Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Sunderland), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal).
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).