Roy Hodgson confident in defensive depth

Joleon Lescott
© PA Photos
England manager Roy Hodgson insists that Joleon Lescott and Chris Smalling are capable of coping with Montenegro's dangerous strike force.

Roy Hodgson has insisted that England's injury-blighted defence is capable of containing the threat of Montenegro strike duo Mirko Vucinic and Stefan Jovetic.

With Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill sidelined, the Three Lions manager is likely to pair Chris Smalling and Joleon Lescott at centre-back for the crucial World Cup qualifier in Podgorica on Tuesday.

Lescott was initially omitted from the squad, while Smalling only has five international caps, but Hodgson has reiterated his faith in England's stand-in defensive lineup.

He said: "I just remind people that Joleon Lescott helped Manchester City to their first title in 40-odd years, and in Chris Smalling we have someone who's playing regularly for the champions-elect.

"It's not as if we've been forced to pick people who don't play at the highest level and I personally trust the pair of them."

Juventus forward Vucinic is Montenegro's all-time leading scorer and Jovetic has netted 12 goals for Fiorentina this season.

Related Video
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City44001001012
2Crystal Palace43018539
3Leicester CityLeicester42208538
4Swansea CitySwansea42207438
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd42113217
6Arsenal42113307
7Liverpool421123-17
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham42029636
9Everton41215415
10Southampton41215505
11Bournemouth411256-14
12Aston Villa411245-14
13Chelsea411269-34
14Norwich CityNorwich411258-34
15West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom411236-34
16Tottenham HotspurSpurs403134-13
17Watford403124-23
18Stoke CityStoke402235-22
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle402225-32
20Sunderland4022610-42