The 4-4-2 that dominated his thinking at Euro 2012 has given way to a more progressive 4-4-1-1 in the hope of taking the Three Lions that extra step – and the signs were good in Friday’s 5-0 rout of Moldova.
Not that Hodgson’s reign has been disappointing, regardless of the formation – the visit of Ukraine to Wembley is his ninth game in charge – and (shootout defeats aside) his side is yet to be beaten.
Oleg Blokhin’s team – with Andriy Shevchenko involved – were beaten by England in Donetsk in the summer so Hodgson will fancy a win in his competitive bow at Wembley.
England are 1/2 (1.50) with Paddy Power to pick up three valuable points against their biggest Group H threat on Tuesday.
For Ukraine, there must be an element of deflation after the excitement of hosting this summer’s European Championship – it certainly looked that way in a drab goalless draw against the Czechs in their August friendly.
But now the serious business of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup begins for them and a visit to Wembley is usually a great motivator for players.
Ukraine will feel they deserved something from that group stage clash at Euro 2012 that saw them eliminated. They are 13/2 (7.50) with Paddy Power to exact revenge of sorts on Tuesday with a win. The draw is available at 10/3 (4.33).
In the goalscorers market, the presence of Cleverley in the advanced role is an interesting one as despite impressing, the 23-year-old is yet to score in 20 appearances for Manchester United or England.
His inclusion forces Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard into a more withdrawn role and that leaves the sole striker as a strong favourite to get the goals for England.
Jermain Defoe scored a hat-trick in England’s first home tie of Euro 2012 qualifying and has netted in both of his country’s matches this season.
He’s 11/10 (2.10) with Paddy Power to register in this one and given the selfless players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Cleverley around him, that looks a good bet here. In fact, with many bookies going odds-on for a Defoe goal, that looks to be the value selection.
But for the pick of the bets in this clash, consider that England have won 14 out of their last 18 qualifiers and 10 of their last 14 matches in all competitions since last September.
Those fixtures have included tougher challenges than a rebuilding Ukraine side in early season – and when England have been stronger before the ravages of club football usually slow their tempo.
In front of more than 70,000 fans, back the Three Lions at Paddy Power’s industry-best price of 1/2 (1.50) to run out winners here.
|England to win at 1/2 (1.50) with Paddy Power
||Jermain Defoe to score anytime at 11/10 (2.10) with Paddy Power|
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on