Euro 2012 qual. - Team news: Johnson to start

Tue, 12 Oct 09:22:00 2010

Adam Johnson is set to make his first competitive start for England in the Euro 2012 Group G qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley on Tuesday night.

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The Manchester City winger has impressed for club and country since returning to the Premier League in January, and has come off the bench to score in both of England's qualifying matches so far.

However, with Theo Walcott injured and James Milner suspended, Johnson is in line for a first start since the friendly win over Hungary in August.

Aston Villa duo Ashley Young and Stewart Downing will vie for a place on the opposite flank along with Liverpool's Joe Cole.

Downing was a late call-up to the squad as replacement for Aaron Lennon, while Gary Cahill also came in as cover for fellow defender Phil Jagielka.

England captain Rio Ferdinand will play his first international since May alongside Joleon Lescott at centre-back. The pair have never played together as a central pairing, but with John Terry dropping out through injury and Michael Dawson out until the new year Lescott is next in line for a place in the side.

England manager Fabio Capello has already confirmed that Peter Crouch will partner Wayne Rooney in attack due to the late withdrawal of Darren Bent, who scored his first international goal in last month's 3-1 win over Switzerland.

Montenegro centre-back Marko Basa could miss out with an ankle injury, while Stefan Savic is again set to deputise at right-back for Savo Pavicevic.

Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic is out of action long term with knee ligament damage.

Star man Mirko Vucinic has scored two of his country's three goals in the group thus far. The Roma striker plus wingers Branko Boskovic and Simon Vukcevic and defender Miodrag Dzudovic will all play despite being one booking away from a suspension for their next match against Bulgaria in June.

However, manager Zlatko Kranjcar can call upon central midfielder Milorad Pekovic once more after he served a ban of his own at the weekend.


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