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Vucinic: England are weak in central defence

Montenegro striker Mirko Vucinic says England’s makeshift centre-back pairing of Joleon Lescott and Chris Smalling is a ‘source of weakness’.

Vucinic believes he will be able to exploit the central defensive problems in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier.

Gary Cahill, Michael Dawson, and, most notably, Rio Ferdinand have all withdrawn from Roy Hodgson’s squad over the past week, resulting in emergency call-ups for Lescott, Steven Taylor and Steven Caulker.

And Vucinic, who netted Montenegro’s winner against Moldova on March 22, says the under-strength opposition defence will be targeted by his team-mates.

“I certainly do see (Smalling and Lescott’s inclusion] as a source of weakness because, if they’re not playing regularly for their own clubs, I don’t see why their national coach should be picking them,” Vucinic told reporters.

“I’m sure the match would be better and more interesting if (Ferdinand or John Terry) played because they are certainly among the best defenders in the world today.”

Montenegro currently sit top of Group H, two points ahead of the Three Lions, and Vucinic believes his side should not be intimidated by their opponents.

“We’re not scared of them at all,” he said.

“I expect to have a beautiful, wonderful atmosphere. Our crowd will carry us on their wings as if they were a 12th player. I’m only sorry that the stadium is not larger and can’t hold more people.”

Tue 26 March, 2013
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