Match Preview: Lithuania vs England: 2018 World Cup Qualifying Group F Matchday Ten

World Cup 2018

Gareth Southgate’s England make the trip to Lithuania tomorrow night for the final Game of World Cup Qualifying after securing a place at Russia 2018 on Thursday night with a home victory over Slovenia.

In doing so, The Three Lions secured a sixth successive Qualifying Group top spot in Group F, meanwhile, Lithuania have already been eliminated and come into the tie looking for some constellation off the back of a 1-1 draw in Malta.

When?

Kick-off tomorrow evening (Sunday 8 October) is scheduled for 5 PM GMT, but that is 7 PM Local Time on The Continent.

As is customary with all England fixtures, main Television Coverage in The UK will be provided by ITV, however, if you don’t have access to a TV tomorrow primary Live Radio Coverage from Lithuania can be found on TalkSport and BBC Radio 5 Live.

Where?

Lithuania’s temporary National Stadium, The LFF Stadium, will play host to the visit of England, renovated from ruin at the fall of The Soviet Union, it has a capacity of just over 5,000.

The Lithuania National Team are using the Venue along with two others while their man National Stadium, also in the Capital City of Vilnius, is being expanded to a capacity of over 25,000.

Tomorrow night will be the second time that The Three Lions have visited The Ground, winning 0-3 thanks to strikes from Ross Barkley, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and an own-goal in the build-up for EURO 2016 in their only previous outing.

Team News:

Edgaras Jankauskas is expected to field his strongest Xl possible in a Game that matters little to both Sides in the context of Russia 2018 but will mean a lot to the home Team with the chance of an upset.

The likes of forward and Captain Fedor Cernych, star midfielder Vykintas Slivka and robust defender Tomas Mikuckis are all expected to start for the Lithuanians.

Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate is expected to bring a whole host of changes to his Three Lions Side that left it late to defeat Slovenia on Thursday night, but skipper Harry Kane is expected to keep his place and role.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli returns from suspension and could come straight into midfield, but the former Boro Boss will reportedly experiment with different tactics and formations.

Lithuania:

The Lithuanian National Team has enjoyed a rough existence since regaining independence in 1990 but was active between 1923 and 1940.

The Baltic Nation have never Qualified for a Major Tournament and have never come close either, but did win The Baltic Cup four consecutive times in the late 1990s.

With a current FIFA Ranking of 120th, their biggest victory came in the form of a 7-0 thrashing of Estonia in 1995 and have one win to their name in this Qualification Campaign, drawing 1-1 in Malta last time out thanks to a Vykintas Slivka equalizer.

Their current Manager, Edgaras Jankauskas, played 56 times for Lithuania in a coveted Career and he will be hoping that he can miraculously guide them to EURO 2020 when Qualifying for the revolutionary Tournament starts.

England:

The last 12 months have been choppy, to say the least from The Three Lions’ point of view, with the Allardyce Saga and a turbulent start to Southgate’s spell as Manager.

But things have looked to have evened themselves out now, as England have triumphed in a sixth successive Qualifying Group and are unbeaten in 15 Qualifiers consecutively.

Last time out, in the aforementioned home victory over Slovenia, skipper Harry Kane converted a Kyle Walker delivery in the 94th minute for a decisive three points over Srecko Katanec’s men to book a place at Russia 2018.

However, with a disappointing FIFA rank of 15th and a diabolical recent record at Major Tournaments, England fans are not holding their breaths for Russia 2018, now that Qualification has been secured.

Form:

The National Teams of Lithuania and England have met a mere three times in International Football, The Three Lions have been the victors each time, never conceding a goal against their counterparts.

The respective margins of victory have been 4-0, 0-3 and 2-0, with the last result coming at Wembley last year as Jermain Defoe and Jamie Vardy netted in either half.

Three Lions keeper Joe Hart, who is the current highest capped Player in the Squad, and will be hoping for another clean sheet on The Continent.

Interestingly, tomorrow won’t be the first time that England have fielded an experimental Side against Lithuania, in the 2015 win, the likes of Danny Ings claimed his first and only Cap.

Who Is Officiating?

Appointments for Matchday Ten of European Qualifying are yet to be released by FIFA, meaning that Officials are yet to be assigned for the tie.

So, with the final Group F clash of Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifying well and truly previewed, will the hosts steal a slice of history with a remarkable shock?

Or, will England conclude a magnificent Qualifying Campaign with a resounding victory in The Baltics? In their final Competitive clash before boarding the Plane to Russia.