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.

Michael Carrick
Read Next:
Carrick could play in England defence
>

Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea14111232112134
2Arsenal1494133141931
3Liverpool1493235181730
4Manchester CityMan City1493230151530
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1476124101427
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd145631916321
7West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom145542017320
8Everton145541716120
9Stoke CityStoke145451619-319
10Bournemouth145361922-318
11Watford145361824-618
12Southampton144551315-217
13Crystal Palace144282426-214
14Burnley144281223-1114
15Leicester CityLeicester143471724-713
16Middlesbrough132651215-312
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham143381529-1412
18Sunderland143291424-1011
19Hull City133281128-1711
20Swansea CitySwansea142391631-159