Montenegro manager Zlatko Kranjcar is anxiously waiting on the fitness of star striker Mirko Vucinic for Tuesday evening’s key clash at the top of Group G.
The AS Roma striker, who scored in Friday’s impressive victory over Switzerland, has a hamstring injury and coach Zlatko Kranjar has admitted that Vucinic's fitness problems are a cause for concern.
“It is a big blow,” revealed Kranjcar. “We’ll make a call until just before the game but it is 50/50.”
England manager Fabio Capello, who has seen several members of his squad withdraw injured, will be hoping that the Vucinic fails in his quest for fitness, with the forward boasting an impressive international record of 11 goals in 22 internationals.
Chelsea fans too will be familiar with the striker’s exploits, after he netted twice against the Blues in the Champions League two years ago.
Even without Vucinic, Krancjar has been speaking bullishly about his team's chances at Wembley.
Having won all three of their qualifying games so far, the manager is sensing a positive mood within the squad.
“We can be quietly confident things can continue to go well for us,” he explained. “We are aware that the England team is very strong, but we go into the game without any fear and are determined to show what we are capable of and get a result we are happy with.”
According to Krancjar, a lot will depend on the form of England’s under-fire front-man, Wayne Rooney.
Rooney, whose last goal in open play was in England’s previous qualifier against Switzerland, will partner Peter Couch up front, and Krancjar is fearful of a backlash from the England star.
"The chance to play will help his self-confidence and restore his game.
"One thing is for sure, England are definitely a better side with Rooney than they are without him."
By Alex Nearycomments