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
1Manchester CityMan City22006246
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd22005146
3Hull City22004136
4Chelsea22004226
5Everton21103214
6Middlesbrough21103214
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs21102114
8Burnley21012113
9West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom21012203
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham21012203
11Liverpool210145-13
12Swansea CitySwansea210112-13
13Arsenal201134-11
14Watford201123-11
15Leicester CityLeicester201112-11
16Southampton201113-21
17Stoke CityStoke201125-31
18Sunderland200224-20
19Crystal Palace200202-20
20Bournemouth200214-30