Fabio Capello will need his side to be firing on all cylinders to clinch a vital win over Group G leaders.
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Rio Ferdinand has been confirmed as England’s captain for the Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley.
The Manchester United defender reclaims the armband from Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard, the stand-in during Ferdinand’s injury-related absence.
Meanwhile, Sunderland striker Darren Bent has been ruled out with a groin injury picked up in training on Monday with Peter Crouch likely to start.
John Terry pulled out of Tuesday’s match on Sunday with a back injury.
With Everton’s Phil Jagielka (hamstring) also missing, Ferdinand is expected to be joined in central defence by Joleon Lescott of Manchester City.
Capello, who also confirmed Wayne Rooney’s fitness, said: “I spoke with Steven on Sunday evening and explained why Rio will be captain against Montenegro. He understood everything – he knows the rules.
“I decided when I started as England manager who will be the captain and the vice-captain.
“When I spoke with Steven I told him, ‘you were a fantastic captain and you have to play like a captain on Tuesday’.”
Capello is confident Ferdinand’s knee problems are behind him, adding: “I have monitored him – he is fit completely. Also I watched the game against Valencia. I think now he’s 100% fit.
“He’s really important for the other players, he speaks a lot during the game. It’s really important for me, I prefer this kind of player on the pitch.”
Ferdinand was named as Fabio Capello’s skipper for the World Cup after Terry was sacked following allegations about his private life.
But the 31-year-old has only been able to fulfil his duties for two of the 10 England internationals since his appointment because of various injury problems. Tuesday marks his first competitive international appearance for 12 months.
He missed every match in South Africa with knee ligament damage sustained during England’s first World Cup training session, and has been unavailable for 16 of England’s last 22 games in all.
For Manchester United this season he has managed four appearances, while in 2009-2010 he turned out 21 times for his club.
Midfielder Gerrard led the side to victories in England’s opening two fixtures of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.
But the Italian has reverted to his original appointment with Ferdinand leading out the side for the first time since the friendly international with Japan in Graz in late May.
Ferdinand said: “I didn’t know if I was going to be captain or not. I was more concerned about being in the squad and being fit.
Bent is the fourth player to withdraw from the game with injury after Terry, Jagielka and Aaron Lennon (back) were also forced out.
Aston Villa’s Stewart Downing and Gary Cahill of Bolton have been drafted into the squad as replacements. (BBC Sport)
Clearly Montenegro are not a one man side but it is imperative that Fabio Capello’s centre backs do not give Mirko Vucinic time or space on the ball and they will need to pay close attention to the Roma man on set pieces as he really is the main threat to England at Wembley tonight.
With three wins from three Montenegro top Group G and will be no pushovers and with three clean sheets it is equally true that Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch may find it hard to penetrate Zlatko Kranj?ar’s mean defence.
In many ways it is a must win game for England as their opponents have secured a vital three points away at Bulgaria making them Capello’s main opponents in the race for the automatic qualification spot.
Highlights of the last Euro 2012 qualifiers these two sides have taken part in.
Switzerland 1-3 England
Montenegro 1-0 Switzerland