Steven Gerrard has admitted his disappointment at Daniel Sturridge's absence for England's clash with Moldova on Friday, although the skipper hopes his teammate can return in time to 'shine' against Ukraine.
The Three Lions continue their World Cup qualification campaign at Wembley this evening, with Roy Hodgson's side currently second in the Group H standings behind Montenegro.
Sturridge has notched five goals in four appearances for Liverpool since 2013-14 kicked off and was expected to lead the line for his country in their crucial double-header.
The 24-year-old has been ruled out of the Moldova encounter, however - but Gerrard believes the striker can return with an impact when England travel to Ukraine on Tuesday.
He said: "It's a shame for Daniel, the stage is set for him to come and shine and do well.
"Fingers crossed he can come back on Saturday evening, the injury has settled down and he's available for Tuesday. He certainly makes our squad stronger."
Hodgson's team thrashed Moldova 5-0 when the two sides met 12 months ago; Gerrard is aware, though, of the need for maximum points during the next four days to aid England's challenge for a berth in Brazil.
"The game was won at half-time and hopefully that's the case tonight," the 33-year-old reflected.
"We certainly need to start the game and take it to them. The pressure is on us and we accept that, but we are confident we can get the job done.
"In many ways Tuesday will be a more difficult test, but we've still got to beat Moldova, be professional and put in a good performance.
"If we show the same attitude as we did when we went away from home then I'm sure we can win - but it's a big week and we need as many points as possible."