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With Wayne Rooney sidelined and Andy Carroll having to withdraw through injury once selected, Roy Hodgson is left with just three strikers for the first World Cup qualifier

POLL

So it begins. The start of the World Cup 2014 qualification process.

On Friday, England will embark on the first step in a - hopefully successful - journey to Brazil when they face Moldova at the Zimbru Stadium on Friday.

Roy Hodgson has struggled with drop-outs and unavailability since the squad was announced a week ago – namely Wayne Rooney's lack of inclusion due to a nasty-looking gash received during Manchester United's 3-2 win over Fulham 12 days ago which will reportedly sideline the striker for four weeks.

This set-back was heightened just seven days later when Andy Carroll limped out of his West Ham debut with a hamstring injury, duly ruling another striker out of Hodgson's plans.

This leaves England's current striking options as Jermain Defoe, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck. Who is your choice to lead the line against Moldova?

A run-out on Friday would be Defoe's 50th appearance for the national side - his first coming over eight years ago in March 2004 – in which time he has notched 16 goals, most recently the winner against Italy during the August friendly.

However, as evident for Tottenham, he struggles with being the sole focal point for a club and is far more productive when he has a target man to run off.

Sturridge can play through the middle or out wide. His speed and agility proved a handful during the Olympics for Great Britain – as it has done on many occasions for the Stamford Bridge outfit  - but, again, that means he struggles as the sole striker.

Welbeck can play as both a lone striker and part of a front two or three, along with the versatility that Sturridge possesses. But, up until his recent exploits at Euro 2012, the Manchester United man has struggled for England in the past and could well struggle with the pressure of being the sole attacking focus.

HAVE YOUR SAY

So who do you think Roy Hodgson should pick as his main man? Get in touch by voting in the poll, leaving your comments below and letting us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

Poll of the day

Which England striker should lead the line against Moldova?

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