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The Manchester United striker is the favourite to start up top for the Three Lions as they begin their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign against Moldova on Friday

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck should get the nod to lead the line for England against Moldova, according to Goal.com readers.

The Three Lions begin their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign in Chisinau on Friday in what is Roy Hodgson's first taste of competitive action outside of a major tournament.

Hodgson is without talismanic forward Wayne Rooney, due to the striker sustaining a deep gash in his leg during a recent 3-2 Premier League win over Fulham.

West Ham forward Andy Carroll looked to be the likely choice to replace Rooney, but the 23-year-old suffered a hamstring injury during his debut appearance of a season-long loan spell with the Hammers.

This leaves Welbeck, Jermain Defoe and Daniel Sturridge as Hodgson’s only available strikers for the crucial game at the Zimbru Stadium.

The 21-year-old Old Trafford striker is seen as the favourite to start on Friday according to readers, after picking up 42.72 per cent of the public vote.

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, who could get his 50th England cap with an appearance on Friday, came in a close second with 35.21%.

Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge proved to be a handful at the Olympics with Great Britain but is not as popular with readers as he came last in the poll with 22.07%.

Poll of the day

Which England striker should lead the line against Moldova?

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