England’s problems mount with the withdrawal of Aaron Lennon

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Stuart Downing has been drafted in for Aaron Lennon after the Spurs winger joined Phil Jagielka in withdrawing from the England squad.

Lennon’s decision to withdraw has left Fabio Capello with a headache, as he was the obvious replacement for the injured Theo Walcott who has started both Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Despite his impressive performances off when coming off the bench, Capello has been reluctant to start Manchester City’s Adam Johnson.

Johnson has started just once for England, in a friendly against Hungary, but with James Milner playing a central midfield role alongside Gareth Barry in the qualifying campaign, Johnson may be Capello’s best option.

Rooney hasn’t played competitive football since September 19th, which may suggest that Capello would like to see him play in a forward two with either Darren Bent or Peter Crouch.

Milner’s suspension means Steven Gerrard will play a central role alongside Barry, which leaves spots available on both wings which Johnson, and Aston Villa’s Ashley Young will hope to fill.

In the absence of Frank Lampard, Gerrard has been England’s most influential player in the opening two games and England fans would not be happy seeing him shifted back to the wing.

Montenegro are a very strong team and after entering the FIFA world rankings at 199 when the side was formed in June 2007, they are now up to 40th and are arguably the second best side in England’s group despite being fifth seeds.

Whatever Capello’s decision, at home England should have enough quality to come through this injury crisis and are 1/5 to beat Montenegro in the Euro 2012 qualifying football betting market.

But Montenegro should not be underestimated and they will take advantage of a poor England performance – they are 14/1 to beat England.

A draw on Monday is available at 5/1. Follow the latest England vs Montenegro match betting odds market here.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.