Montenegro rests trio for England game

BY foxsports • October 6, 2011

England's hopes of qualifying for the Euro 2012 finals have received a boost with Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic confirming he will rest three key players for Friday night's match in Podgorica.

Fabio Capello's side will book their place in Poland and Ukraine next summer if they avoid defeat.

Brnovic, who took over from Zlatko Kranjcar last month, clearly has one eye on next week's game away to Switzerland, when a draw would ensure Montenegro finish as Group G runners-up irrespective of the result against England.

He has eight players only one yellow card away from being suspended for the Switzerland clash and as a result has left out Milan Jovanovic, Marko Basa and Nikola Drincic, to ensure their availability for that game.

Brnovic said: "We are resting three players for the Switzerland game, so we are thinking about that game (as well as the England match).

"If we knew that the Swiss would not win in Wales tomorrow, then we would put out the team which would create much more problems for the England team than they expect.

"Is my selection a risk? I was forced to do these changes because I can't risk all eight players being suspended for the last game.

"It was difficult explaining to the players being rested why they will not play against England.

"But they accepted it as professionals, are aware of our situation and they can deal with that.

"It's something I have to do. But I strongly believe in the team I'm putting out tomorrow night."

Brnovic remains confident of causing an upset against England, who were held to a goalless draw by Montenegro at Wembley.

He is an admirer of Wayne Rooney but believes the England defence will have more to worry about from striker and skipper Mirko Vucinic.

The Juventus player has scored 11 goals in 24 internationals, including the winners against Wales and Switzerland in single-goal home victories.

Brnovic said: "Rooney is one of the best strikers in the world, a fantastic player, and their other strikers are are also strong.

"But there is no player who can't be stopped. I think the England defence will have more problems wondering how to deal with Mirko and (Stevan) Jovetic than we will have with their attackers.

"Everyone plays better if Mirko plays to his best level. I know very well the qualities of my two forwards."

Brnovic recognises the importance of not conceding an early goal, given the potency England contain on the counter-attack.

He said: "England have scored in the first 15 minutes of every away game. That's down to the naivety of the home teams who get caught up in emotions and start attacking, which England punished.

"England have very quick players on the break and they can use the counter-attack as a strong weapon.

"They're a very strong side in every way, but we have found their weaknesses and will try to exploit them."

Vucinic knows the need for Montenegro to keep their cool against England but is also adamant they are not scared by the likes of captain John Terry.

He said: "We are prepared, we know what a great team is coming to our country but we are highly motivated and prepared to fight for them.

"There can't be a greater motivation than playing England. Montenegro is not scared of anybody. We weren't afraid when we were at war, so we won't be afraid of this.

"But we also need to control our emotions if we want to get a positive result.

"We have to concentrate on our own tactics and make sure we do all we can."

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