It's advantage England in the fight with Ukraine for the one automatic qualification spot from Group H for next year's World Cup in Brazil.

England holds a one-point lead over Ukraine going into Tuesday's final round of group matches, so a win over Poland at Wembley Stadium will secure the top spot and put the Ukrainians in the playoffs.

The pressure is all on the English, however, as Ukraine finishes up with what should be a routine victory over last-place San Marino.

Here are five things to know about the last Group H matches:


1973 REPEAT?

Forty years ago, Poland came to Wembley Stadium, tore up the script and denied England a place in the 1974 World Cup. Can history repeat itself?

On that occasion, Poland claimed a 1-1 draw through an obdurate defensive effort and some brilliant goalkeeping by the enigmatic Jan Tomaszewski, and qualified for the World Cup at the hosts' expense. This time, the Poles have already been eliminated but are still eyeing an upset.

''It doesn't matter that we only have honor to play for,'' Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski said. ''Matches at Wembley are always very important to us.''

An England victory will certainly erase some of the memories of that painful night in 1973, and avoid being pushed into the playoffs.



Seemingly backing up his reputation as a cautious tactician, Roy Hodgson faced a backlash from many of England's fans and media after his team ground out an uninspiring 0-0 draw in Ukraine last month.

Typical Hodgson, they said.

His critics have gone underground after England's 4-1 win over Montenegro on Friday, though.

Hodgson sent out an offensive lineup featuring three strikers, a debutant winger in Andros Townsend and two attacking full backs - and was rewarded with the kind of bold, dynamic display rarely seen by England teams in recent years.

The question now is, will Hodgson stay in adventurous mode for a win-or-bust match or revert to type? Will Townsend keep his place after a man-of-the-match debut, or will the more defensive-minded James Milner come in on the right of midfield? Will Michael Carrick be included to anchor the midfield or will Hodgson stick with Frank Lampard or Jack Wilshere as Steven Gerrard's partner in central midfield?

''They will want to defend well and make it difficult so we will have to show patience,'' Hodgson said Monday. ''But with the attacking players we've got, it's only a matter of time before the breakthrough comes. We've got that confidence.''



After a peripatetic few years during which he was loaned out to nine clubs before he'd even turned 22, Townsend is finally getting regular football at Tottenham - and may now be set for an extended run in his national team, too.

Hodgson has had his eye on Townsend ever since the winger made a string of explosive appearances for Queens Park Rangers last season and couldn't fail to notice that Townsend has retained his place in the Spurs team despite the club's heavy spending this summer.

Theo Walcott, currently out injured, seemed to be England's only option on the right wing but in Townsend, who provided a telling contribution for England's first goal against Montenegro and scored the crucial third, there is real competition there now. As the form winger in England right now, he should keep his place against Poland although Hodgson said Monday that Townsend ''took a knock'' against Montenegro and wouldn't confirm his availability.



England's officials will be hoping they haven't scored an own-goal by awarding Polish fans an unusually large allocation of 18,000 tickets for the critical match.

The Football Association has doubled Poland's allocation to prevent the threat of away supporters buying tickets to sit among England fans at Wembley Stadium. However, a larger away following could boost Poland's chances, as it did when a similar move was made for Ghana (1-1 in March 2011) and Ireland (1-1 in May this year) at Wembley.

''It could work in that manner,'' England left back Leighton Baines said, ''but to put a more positive spin on it you'd rather play in a stadium with a good atmosphere rather than it be a half-empty stadium.''



Ukraine has already put nine past San Marino in qualifying and is expected to run up another big win in Serravalle. It won't be enough if England beats Poland, though.

''We are realists,'' Ukraine coach Mykhaylo Fomenko was quoted as saying in Britain's Daily Mail, ''it looks like we will play in the playoffs ... to win at Wembley, you have to be playing at a super level, and being realistic, I don't think Poland are playing at a super level right now.''

Ukraine reached the quarterfinals of the only World Cup it has qualified for, in 2006 in Germany.