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Roy Hodgson confident in defensive depth

Hodgson confident in defensive depth
© 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.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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