LAMPARD WILL JOIN 100 CLUB
Frank Lampard will become only the eighth player to reach the 100-cap mark for England tomorrow (Tuesday) his national manager Roy Hodgson has announced.
Speaking in Ukraine ahead of the very important World Cup qualifier, Hodgson said:
'He [Lampard] will play tomorrow night and I have been very lucky to have three players play their 100th game during the time I have been manager. All things being equal Frank will play and start the game tomorrow.
'I don't think there will be many players who will play for England for two or three years, let alone 14 years. Fourteen years is a long time to be representing your country.'
With Hodgson revealing there will only be one change from the side that started against Moldova on Friday, a replacement for suspended Danny Welbeck, Lampard will start the game alongside two players who also recently joined the exclusive group, Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole, who earned his 100th cap against Brazil earlier this year, and Steven Gerrard.
The other players to have made 100 appearances for England are Billy Wright, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Peter Shilton and David Beckham.
Lampard, who has won all but two of his caps since moving to Stamford Bridge, made his international debut in October 1999 in a 2-1 friendly win against Belgium at the Stadium of Light, playing 76 minutes before being replaced by Dennis Wise.
His first senior international goal came in a 3-1 win against Croatia in August 2003 at Portman Road, when he fired into the roof of the net from 25 yards to put the seal on the victory.
A year later, at the European Championships, Lampard competed at his first major international tournament, and while England were eliminated at the quarter-final stage, on a personal note it was a fruitful experience with the Blues midfielder scoring three goals in four games.
Supporters voted Lampard England's Player of the Year twice in succession - in 2004 and 2005 - and his five goals in qualification helped the national side secure their place at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but while he was an ever-present in the side throughout that campaign, England again exited at the quarter-final stage after losing to Portugal on penalties.
The 2010 World Cup will be remembered for the goal scored by Lampard in the quarter-final defeat against Germany which, having clearly crossed the line, was ruled out, highlighting the importance of goal-line technology.
Lampard captained England for the first time in February 2011, in a friendly against Denmark, and he was on target in the next two games as their place at Euro 2012 was booked. Unfortunately for Lampard a thigh injury ruled him out of the tournament.
His international career has seen him score winning goals against the likes of Spain and Brazil, while in the current World Cup qualifying campaign he has been a pivotal figure, scoring four times thus far.
In total, he has now scored 29 goals for his country and is England's ninth highest goalscorer.
'I enjoy being with this group of [England ] players,' Lampard said this week. 'I enjoy the manager, I have a lot of respect for him.
'In enjoy playing alongside Steven [Gerrard] and Ashley [Cole], who I have played with a long time, and England as a whole - we want to get to the World Cup.'
England captain Steven Gerrard, speaking today at the same press conference as Hodgson, said: 'It is going to be a fantastic occasion for Frank and I am absolutely delighted for him that he will get the 100 caps.
'Obviously me and Ashley did that as well recently and we are going to move onto the same number of caps as the legend Billy Wright so it is going to be a special occasion all round, so we all want to remember it for the right result. I lost on my 100th cap so hopefully that will be different for Frank and he can go away with fond memories.'
Cole and Gerrard have made 104 England appearance ahead of tomorrow's game.