Capello wary of Vucinic threat

GENOA - Montenegro striker Mirko Vucinic is not just famous in Italy for celebrating goals with his shorts on his head - he is a very dangerous striker too.

Tiny Montenegro's stunning feat in winning their first three Euro 2012 qualifiers is partly down to the all-action AS Roma striker, who could cause serious problems for England's injury-hit defence in their Group G match at Wembley on Tuesday.

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Vucinic scored Montenegro's winners in the 1-0 home victories over Wales and Switzerland, marking the latter goal with one of his traditional bizarre celebrations, having terrorised Serie A backlines in recent years.

Luckily for England, their Italian coach Fabio Capello knows him well.

"Vucinic is a very dangerous, quick player in front of goal," Capello told reporters.

"I saw his capabilities when I was in Italy and his scoring record in Serie A, the Champions League and in international football is impressive."

Tall and good in the air but also quick and with skilful feet, Vucinic was a major reason why Roma managed to finish second in the Italian league last term despite crippling debts and Francesco Totti's continuing injury problems.

He bagged 14 league goals - the same amount as Roma talisman Totti, whose total was swelled by penalties.

Marco Borriello's arrival has meant Vucinic has largely been on the bench this term, to the dismay of many Roma fans, but he made coach Claudio Ranieri think again by coming on and scoring a late diving header to beat Inter Milan 1-0 last month.

The 27-year-old, who looks several years older with his slightly wild hair, arrived in Italy 10 years ago with modest side Lecce and spent six years on the heel of the country before earning his big move to Roma.

Vucinic has often been used by Roma on the wing, meaning he is comfortable in any area of the pitch, but when he plays as a striker he is invariably upfront alone and has to battle hard for every chance.

With John Terry and Phil Jagielka out and Rio Ferdinand only just back to fitness, Capello's fragile defence will have to be at their best if England are to win and join fledgling nation Montenegro on nine points at the top of the group.