Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend is handed his England debut tonight against Montenegro. Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere, both slightly out of form and slightly in the hot seat in England, is relegated to the bench, with Roy Hodgson putting out quite the attacking lineup.
Joe Hart, of course, remains between the sticks, with the Manchester City goalkeeper already given the full backing of the England coach earlier in the week. Hart’s been prone to the occasional high-profile goof recently, but fortunately for the keeper, Montenegro are likely to do little in the way of attack.
Leighton Baines takes Ashley Cole’s spot on the left side, while Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard pair up to protect the back line. Wayne Rooney returns and takes his place in between newcomer Townsend and Danny Welbeck, while Daniel Sturridge leads the attack.
(MORE: a closer look at the matchup between England and Montenegro)
As for Montenegro, well, they’re a bit all over the place. Injury to Mirko Vucinic means that Dejan Damjanovic steps in to partner Stevan Jovetic. Meanwhile, the visitors seem to have set up with something like five or six defenders, although no one can agree on exactly how the formation will play out. It seems, though, that Montenegro are going to stick to the plan of sitting back and defending their goal, and just waiting for the rare opportunity to spring forward in attack.
England starting XI: Hart, Baines, Jagielka, Cahill, Walker; Lampard, Gerrard; Welbeck, Rooney, Townsend; Sturridge
Montenegro starting XI: Poleksic; Volkov, Savic, Kecojević, Jovanovic, Boskovic, Pavićević, Drincic, Zverotic; Damjanović, Jovetic