Sturridge out, Lambert to start
Rickie Lambert will make his first England start in Friday's World Cup qualifier against Moldova after Daniel Sturridge was ruled out.
Lambert came off the bench to score the winning goal against Scotland on debut last month.
And now, with Sturridge and Wayne Rooney both injured, the 31-year-old will get his first start at international level on Friday night when England host Moldova at Wembley.
"I have picked the team and Rickie Lambert will start, yes," Hodgson said in an interview with radio reporters.
"He deserves a chance. I can't deny had Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge had been available, it would have been harder for him to get a starting place but I am more than happy to have a player of his calibre to start this game."
Meanwhile, the Football Association has confirmed Sturridge has returned to Liverpool for treatment on the groin injury he aggravated against Manchester United at the weekend.
It is still hoped Sturridge will be fit enough to be involved in Tuesday's encounter with Ukraine in Kiev.
"Daniel Sturridge has returned to Liverpool for further treatment," it was reported on the FA's website.
"The Liverpool forward will return to his club with the intention of joining the England squad again at the weekend and travelling to Ukraine."
The news is not unexpected given Sturridge admitted at the weekend he was worried about shooting due to the discomfort he was experiencing.
Hodgson all but named the starting XI for the game.
Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and either Ashley Cole or Leighton Baines are expected to start in front of Joe Hart while Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Jack Wilshere will definitely play in midfield.
Hodgson confirmed that Arsenal's Theo Walcott and Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck will provide Lambert with assistance from the flanks.