A bright start to qualifying has not quite meant that England’s disastrous World Cup has been forgotten but wins over Bulgaria and Switzerland last month certainly helped the healing process.
Those two nations were expected to be England’s main challengers in the five-team group but the Three Lions currently find themselves locked on a maximum of six points with Montenegro.
Two 1-0 wins over Wales and, more impressively, away in Bulgaria see Montenegro trail England only on goal difference and they head to Wembley in high spirits having also achieved a highest ever ranking of 40 in FIFA’s latest rankings.
Not bad for a nation who only started playing independently three years ago.
For Tuesday’s match Fabio Capello is missing only a few key names, most notably in the shape of Frank Lampard with Jermain Defoe, Theo Walcott and Bobby Zamora also missing whilst James Milner is suspended.
Lampard did not feature in either of September’s qualifiers but Defoe, Walcott and Milner each played their part in the two wins and will need to be replaced.
Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Joe Cole and Jack Wilshere are amongst the names returning to the squad and Bolton’s Kevin Davies has also been handed a first ever international call-up at the age of 33.
The following previews who Capello may turn to in order to maintain England’s position at the head of the group before Euro 2012 qualifying resumes next March.