Montenegro v England: Reaction
- Montenegro 1 England 1
- Serbia 2 Scotland 0
- Northern Ireland 0 Israel 2
- Republic of Ireland 2 Austria 2
- Wales 1 Croatia 2
- France 0 Spain 1
THE STORY OF THE NIGHT IN PICTURES...
ROONEY SEES RED ON HIS PREVIOUS VISIT TO MONTENEGRO...
3/26/2013 3:00:31 PM
TEN THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT MONTENEGRO
3/26/2013 3:09:00 PM
- Montenegro won its first Olympic medal as an independent country when it claimed silver in the women's handball at the London 2012 Olympics
- Montenegro gained its independence from neighbours Serbia in a 2006 referendum in which 55.5 per cent of those who voted wished for a split.
- Water polo is considered the national sport of Montenegro. Montenegro won the European title in 2008 with a 6-5 win over Serbia.
- One of Montenegro's national dishes is krap - a form of carp from Skadar Lake prepared with dried plums, apples and quince.
- Montenegro played their first match in a 2-1 friendly win over Hungary in March 2007. Two months later the nation was elected as FIFA's 208th member.
- Podgorica is the capital of Montenegro, with a population of approximately 160,000. Its name is translated as "under the small hill".
- Montenegro are ranked 28th in the latest FIFA rankings, seven places above neighbours Serbia.
- Part of the James Bond film 'Casino Royale' was purportedly set in Montenegro. However, the scenes were actually shot in the Czech Republic.
- Former Yugoslavian football stars Dejan Savicevic and Predrag Mijatovic were both born in the pre-independence Montenegro.
- Montenegro has never reached the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Its 2013 entry is a song called 'Igranka' by hip-hop duo Who See.
The Independent's Sam Wallace is in Montenegro for tonight's match and he's been chatting to the local FA about the pitch...
Asked Montenegro FA official about rumour pitch waterlogged. 'The pitch is perfect. I'm on it now. No problem, no water, just green grass' Sam Wallace via Twitter at 9:00 AM3/26/2013 3:10:59 PM
Wayne Rooney and Tom Cleverley pictured heading out for a training session in Montenegro.3/26/2013 3:14:04 PM
STORIES FROM TODAY'S INDEPENDENT....
3/26/2013 3:30:15 PM
- James Lawton: England need to shatter the widely held theory that they crumble under pressure
- Montenegro v England: Roy Hodgson tells squad that hard work will tip the balance in pivotal match
- Trash-talking Montenegro 'running scared'
- Sol Campbell defends Rio Ferdinand and backs Manchester United defender to enjoy an international future
The Independent's chief sports writer James Lawton says England need to shatter the widely held theory that they crumble under pressure...
Montenegro are not San Marino, it is true, but nor are they anything approaching a front-rank football nation. If England do not remind us of this, if they do not look a team in charge of themselves in every professional respect, it will perhaps tell us once again that nor are they. The big talk, let's face it, has become meaningless. What is needed, perhaps more than ever, is a big performance.Read the full article by clicking here.
Do you agree with James Lawton? Leave your comments and we'll publish the best ones.3/26/2013 3:33:25 PM
In news away from England's match, Fifa have turned down Costa Rica's bid to have their match with the US replayed due to the adverse weather. To be fair to the visitors to Colorado, they had a point.3/26/2013 3:41:21 PM
TONIGHT'S KEY BATTLES...
Joleon Lescott v Stevan Jovetic
Lescott has returned to the England side after initially not being named in Roy Hodgson's squad through a lack of action at Manchester City. He will have to be at his best to cope with the threat of Jovetic who is reported to be Arsenal's number one transfer target for this summer and is rated in the £25million bracket by his current club, Fiorentina.
Chris Smalling v Mirko Vucinic
Jovetic's hero is strike partner Vucinic and there is no doubt the duo represent Montenegro's best chance of pulling off a notable scalp. Vucinic scored the winner in Friday's 1-0 away success over Moldova - his 14th international goal. Smalling will be keen to shackle the Juventus star, who can play out wide or in a deep lying role, and make one of the centre-back positions his own.
Wayne Rooney v Mladen Bozovic
England will not want a repeat of the red card shame endured by Rooney in the same stadium 17 months ago in a Euro 2012 qualifier, when Montenegro fought back to draw 2-2 from being 2-0 down. Montenegro will hope goalkeeper Bozovic can frustrate Rooney as well as the other England forward players and clock up a fifth successive clean sheet for his country to keep them top of the group.3/26/2013 4:00:36 PM
Steven Gerrard remains in bullish mood ahead of tonight's game, insisting England have Montenegro "exactly where we want them"...
I'm not really too interested in what they've got to say in their press conference. Or in ours, to be honest! I'm more interested in how the lads play in training and when the first whistle goes.To get more of Gerrard's thoughts, read the full article here
With regards to his comments, it just shows we've got them exactly where we want them. They seem to be more interested in saying things and doing all the talking, but talking doesn't win you football matches. Going back to whether we play long balls, it's important to have a good mix, to play a certain way but also have a Plan B where you can go more direct.3/26/2013 4:12:05 PM
A lot of English interest in a certain Stevan Jovetic. A good performance tonight may put big clubs on red alert....
Pretty sure #English #gooners will do a great, In depth analysis on #Jovetic tonight vs #England. #AFCWatch Arsenal via Twitter at 4:22 PM
England vs Montenegro tonight. Watching only for the sole reason that Jovetic's playing too. Might switch back and forth re: Spain/France. Merteswagger via Twitter at 4:21 PM3/26/2013 4:25:26 PM
..and a lot of scrutiny on Chris Smalling also. The Manchester United defender's international credentials should be thoroughly tested tonight, with some England fans unconvinced about his selection
RT @FA: #England defender Chris Smalling is relishing the challenge as they prepare to face Montenegro tonight: t.coAlex Barker via Twitter at 3:07 PM
RT @FFTPerformance: Chris Smalling: "You need to stand side-on and stay on your feet. Going to ground is a last resort." t.co ... David Robertson via Twitter at 3:07 PM
Chris Smalling over Steven Taylor?? Marley Anthony via Twitter at 4:12 PM3/26/2013 4:32:39 PM
Can England breach one of the most miserly defences in the European qualifying section? Twenty-nine goals in 10 away games says they have a good chance. Read the full match preview here3/26/2013 4:38:15 PM
Meanwhile, in France, it might be worth keeping a pessimistic eye on potential play-off opponents..
Read the preview for the crucial France v Spain qualifier here3/26/2013 4:54:01 PM
Funny how things pan out, as the man who became England's oldest debutant in 60 years against tonight's opponents starts a new chapter...
Bolton to release captain Davies: Bolton Wanderers confirm they will not be offering long-serving captain Kevi... t.coBBC Sport Football via Twitter at 3:48 PM3/26/2013 4:57:46 PM
Today's major story in terms of the Premier League has been the appointment of Nigel Adkins as Reading manager. The Independent's Kevin Garside muses over how long he will last...
much impressed by the articulate Nigel Adkins on his unveiling as Reading boss. Hope he's still in a job when England kick-off Kevin Garside via Twitter at 4:48 PMYou can read what our reporter made of Adkins' appointment - a decision he described as "bonkers" - by clicking here.3/26/2013 5:04:58 PM
Spain are up against France in Paris this evening in tonight's stand-out match.3/26/2013 5:07:46 PM
You will be able to watch the game between France and Spain live, right here on www.independent.co.uk. The live stream starts at 7.50pm, click here for more information.3/26/2013 5:09:24 PM
How will the other Home Nations fair in their World Cup Qualifiers tonight? Playing for pride may be the name of the game for some...
World Cup qualifier: Northern Ireland v Israel match preview t.coTheIndyFootball via Twitter at 5:05 PM
World Cup qualifiers: Republic of Ireland v Austria match preview t.coTheIndyFootball via Twitter at 5:05 PM3/26/2013 5:09:52 PM
Eerie or patriotic? England's away end in Montenegro3/26/2013 5:15:38 PM
Some wholly uninspiring stats from the Football Association...
Montenegro are the only team to have stopped England scoring at the new Wembley, drawing 0-0 in a Euro Qualifier in October 2010. #Eng The FA via Twitter at 5:15 PM
England have played Montenegro twice and drawn both games. #Eng The FA via Twitter at 5:02 PM3/26/2013 5:20:46 PM
Here's a bit of background on the only two games played between Montenegro and England...
England 0 Montenegro 0 - October 12, 2010
The first match between the two teams saw England's 100 per cent record in Euro 2012 qualifying under Fabio Capello come to an end at Wembley. The home side dominated possession but struggled to turn it into chances and it was Montenegro who came closest to winning the match when Milan Jovanovic hit the bar late on. Striker Kevin Davies won his only England cap as a substitute.
Montenegro 2 England 2 - October 7, 2011
England booked their place at the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine with a draw in Podgorica but the night was marred by a red card for Wayne Rooney. The striker was sent off for kicking Miodrag Dzudovic 17 minutes from time and missed the first two games of the finals through suspension. It looked like being a perfect night for England when goals from Ashley Young and Darren Bent gave them a comfortable lead but Elsad Zverotic pulled one back and, in a hostile atmosphere, England conceded again through Andrija Delibasic in stoppage time. The point put Montenegro into the play-offs but they lost to the Czech Republic.3/26/2013 5:23:07 PM
The pitch could be better - perhaps 'long ball tactics' are the way to go...3/26/2013 5:26:22 PM
Armenia 0 - 1 Czech Republic (Vydra 47')
Azerbaijan 0 - 0 Portugal
Estonia 0 - 0 Andorra3/26/2013 5:29:23 PM
3/26/2013 5:33:43 PM
Meanwhile, Japan blow their chance to be the first team to qualify for World Cup 2014. See the highlights below3/26/2013 5:34:41 PM
0-2 to the Czechs in their game now, and yes, it's that boy again - Matej Vydra - to put pressure on second place Bulgaria in Group B.3/26/2013 5:43:05 PM
As Portugal go in at half-time level with Azerbaijan (0-0), it may be worth the entrance fee just to see the face of Cristiano Ronaldo - the Real Madrid man may have to get the Euro 2012 semi-finalists out of trouble again3/26/2013 5:53:55 PM
Daniel Kolar 's cool finish wraps up the points for the Czech Republic in Armenia. A good night's work sees them leapfrog Denmark into third position in Group B, a point behind second place Bulgaria in the play-off berth.3/26/2013 5:56:59 PM
FT Armenia 0 - 3 Czech Republic3/26/2013 5:57:29 PM
A clean sheet without you, Rio?
I'm going for Mon 0 - 2 Eng....Rooney + Welbeck with the goals. All the best boys Rio Ferdinand via Twitter at 5:20 PM3/26/2013 6:02:44 PM
Tonight's programme suggests there could see some unfamiliar names turning out for England. Can you work out who Vejn Runi is?3/26/2013 6:09:39 PM
Ready to combat the loud locals3/26/2013 6:11:40 PM
Rauf Aliyev has just been sent off for a second bookable offence for Azerbaijan. Can Portugal capitalise against their depleted hosts now?.....3/26/2013 6:18:18 PM
Sergi Mosnikov has put Estonia 1-0 up against Andorra early into the second half3/26/2013 6:19:27 PM
Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Serbia due to go ahead at 19:30 GMT after passing a pitch inspection following heavy snow. BBC Sport via Twitter at 6:13 PM3/26/2013 6:19:56 PM
Joel Lindpere grabs Estonia's second to make it 2-0...3/26/2013 6:26:42 PM
....and it looks like Portugal have gotten themselves out of jail again - but it's Bruno Alves, not Ronaldo that nets the opener. 1-0 with 25 minutes to play in Baku3/26/2013 6:28:30 PM
Scotland team versus Serbia: Marshall, Hutton, Caldwell, Hanley, Whittaker, McArthur, Boyd, Bridcutt, Maloney, Rhodes, Naismith3/26/2013 6:31:25 PM
The action is underway in Istanbul as Turkey (4th) host Hungary (2nd) in Group D3/26/2013 6:33:08 PM
1 - England have suffered just one defeat in their last 23 international qualifiers (W17 D5), this coming vs Ukraine in Oct 2009. Gutsy. OptaJoe via Twitter at 6:38 PM
0 - Montenegro are one of only two teams (alongside Saudi Arabia) that England have faced more than once but never beaten. Challenge. OptaJoe via Twitter at 6:24 PM3/26/2013 6:39:33 PM
3/26/2013 6:44:55 PM
Hugo Almeida wraps up an what seems to be an unconvincing victory for Portugal. Paulo Bento's side leapfrog Israel into second in Group F, but that could all change as they take on Northern Ireland later tonight.3/26/2013 6:47:44 PM
Just to confirm..
England team to play Montenegro:
Joe Hart, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard (c), Joleon Lescott, Chris Smalling, James Milner, Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney, Tom Cleverley.3/26/2013 6:55:14 PM