With his squad shorn of orthodox wide men, Hodgson shed his safety-first image by the bold selection of 22-year-old Townsend, who was banned for four months and received an £18,000 fine from the Football Association in the summer for breaching betting rules.
Hodgson did plump for youth in attack though as Daniel Sturridge was rewarded for his outstanding early season form at Liverpool with his first competitive start.
As expected, Leighton Baines replaced Ashley Cole at left-back, with Manchester United's Danny Welbeck returning from suspension, one of five changes to the team that collected a point from their last outing in Ukraine.
A point ahead of their opponents and also Ukraine, England knew victory would take them a significant step forward in their quest to secure automatic qualification for next summer's Finals in Brazil.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jack Wilshere
- Sir Bobby Charlton
- Frank Lampard
- Steven Gerrard
- Daniel Sturridge