Roy Hodgson may find it a blessing in disguise that he has few options for the big game against Ukraine.
1. Jury is still out on Cahill and Jagielka
Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka, to put it mildly, didn’t have to over-extend themselves on Friday night.
They were afforded the luxury of watching the game in relative comfort given the tame threat offered by Moldova. That said, they have not always looked rock solid as a pair for England.
A feeling persists that the chemistry between them is not quite right. Too similar in style perhaps, with neither feeling able to take control.
And if that uncertainty persists in Kiev on Tuesday, the likes of Andrei Yarmolenko, ducking in from the right, and Roman Zozulya, asking questions through the middle, might be enough to rattle the visitors. It looks highly unlikely that Roy Hodgson will change his central defensive partnership. The manager has faith. Will it be justified?
2. It can be good to have a range of options
When the team virtually picks itself those players involved can gain an added sense of togetherness. Either they do the job or it does not get done at all. Such a situation tends to unite footballers, especially when you are travelling away to an intimidating venue for a vital game.
And let’s face it, Hodgson does not have too many choices when he looks at his squad. Yes, of course he could use, say, Michael Carrick on Tuesday but that is not going to noticeably strengthen the midfield.
Danny Welbeck’s absence through suspension may actually weaken Hodgson’s hand after two well-taken goals by the forward.
So apart from the possible but unlikely return of Daniel Sturridge, Hodgson cannot do much more than say 'same again lads’. That might, in the end, turn into a bonus.
3. Don't give up on the old guard
To be fair, I am sure Hodgson has no intention of doing that after seeing his two oldest players, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, call many of the shots here.
The combination with Jack Wilshere, in fact, worked very nicely, even if it was against a team no better than a League One outfit.
The trio knew their roles and did not take liberties. Gerrard was the deepest, with Wilshere ahead to his left and Lampard to his right. It is a classy permutation when allowed to flow freely.
Yet there will surely be times in Ukraine when they have to dig in, do a bit of chasing in the middle of the park. Remember how England struggled to stem the tide in that second half against Montenegro in March? They cannot afford for that to happen again.
4. Hart's biggest test is yet to come
Joe Hart, watching the action up the other end from his penalty area, would have been well aware that his big test lay a few days ahead rather than at Wembley.
Of course he was determined to do his job right, to make sure no silly mistakes blighted his game so that he could come away with a clean sheet.
But the match always bore the hallmarks of an easy gig whereas Kiev’s Olympic Stadium promises to be nothing of the sort. With so much at stake against a lively Ukraine side, the Manchester City goalkeeper needs to make sure he goes into the match in a confident frame of mind.
A below par time last season has been followed by a couple of errors early on during this campaign. There is pressure on the lad. He needs to respond.
5. Hodgson could be in his element
We can talk all we like about the players, or lack of them, available to Hodgson, yet it is worth pointing out that the manager himself could be equally important seeing as he now faces a situation that should really suit. Organising a team to do a certain job on foreign soil?
This methodical tactician will be lapping it up. The training ground Monday and on Monday will echo to the instructions of an enthusiastic Hodgson, working very hard as always on team shape and discipline.
Because of Welbeck’s suspension, a slight change in formation may be required and the 66-year-old will see this as a welcome challenge. England would take a point now. Hodgson is made for situations like that.