England are tantalisingly close to
sealing a place at Euro 2012 and intend to clear the last hurdle
in Montenegro on Friday by going all out for victory despite
needing just a point in their final Group G qualifier in
Fabio Capello's unbeaten side need only avoid defeat to join
the 2012 party in Ukraine and Poland but an untimely slip-up in
the tiny Balkan state would leave England relying on help from
Switzerland next week.
Until Montenegro lost to Wales last month they were
England's equals in the group and while that defeat has left
them looking at a play-off instead, two wins in their last two
games would topple Capello's men from first place via a better
Capello, still tarnished by England's shambolic World Cup
failure last year, said he would on Friday adopt the same
attacking policy that has been rewarded with a 100 percent away
record in Euro 2012 qualifying.
The Italian has selected five strikers in his squad with
Wayne Rooney likely to be partnered up front by Darren Bent,
Andy Carroll or even Manchester United's in-form youngster Danny
"We are going for a win, not for a draw," Capello told the
FA's website. "If you play for a draw it is a
big mistake because you are playing to defend the result.
"When you do that you make some silly mistakes. You need to
play the same style as all the other away games."
Montenegro, in their first campaign as an independent
nation, are guaranteed at least a playoff should they beat
England and third-placed Switzerland fail to defeat Wales.
The Montenegrins have already drawn 0-0 at Wembley and had
Milan Jovanovic's effort gone in rather than rattling the
crossbar that day, they could have been in the driving seat for
the return in Podgorica.
DISCIPLINED AND DANGEROUS
Montenegro conceded plenty of possession at Wembley but were
superbly disciplined and dangerous on the break.
Goalkeeper Mladen Bozovic said a similar level of
performance would have to be reached if they were to have a
chance of sending England home empty-handed.
"We were under no pressure to get a result at Wembley, we
were beaming with confidence ahead of the 0-0 draw after winning
our opening three games, but it's a very different situation
now," he told Montenegrin media.
"We have to deliver now because we are in contention for a
play-off berth and we need to perform well against England and in
our final match in Switzerland.
"With a bit of luck we can score and then anything can
happen. England are a great team full of world class players but
we are hoping they will underestimate us," Bozovic added.
"We have nothing to fear. We are aware it will probably go
down to the wire, meaning that our final group match in
Switzerland will be decisive."
Montenegro: Mladen Bozovic, Savo Pavicevic, Milan Jovanovic,
Stefan Savic, Elsad Zverotic, Simon Vukcevic, Milorad Pekovic,
Nikola Drincic, Stevan Jovetic, Radomir Djalovic, Mirko Vucinic
England: Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Gary Cahill, John Terry,
Ashley Cole; James Milner, Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard, Ashley
Young, Darren Bent, Wayne Rooney.
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