England face Montenegro this Friday coming, and it is a crunch game in terms of qualifying for the next World Cup. Roy Hodgson’s men go into the game one point ahead of Montenegro and three points ahead of Poland - knowing the right results could see England on their way to Brazil, and the wrong ones could see us tumble out altogether.
England are still undefeated in the Group - but have drawn against both sides in their previous fixtures despite taking the lead.
So with that in mind, it would be great to receive a boost ahead of the game.
And it looks increasingly as if Montenegro’s most influential footballer will miss the game.
Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic is the country’s captain and also their record goalscorer with 15 goals from 36 games since The Brave Falcons made their international debut in 2007 - after the political split from Serbia.
Vucinic is largely responsible for the nations rapid rise up the FIFA Rankings, currently sitting in 27th place - up from the 199th place they started in 2007.
Vucinic lasted just 24 minutes of the Champions League game against Galatasaray in the week before coming off for Fabio Quagliarella.
Now he has not been included in Juventus’ squad to take on AC Milan tomorrow, leaving him a major fitness doubt for the Wembley fixture.
With Manchester City’s Stevan Jovetic also struggling for full fitness, it is a weakened Balkans outfot at this moment in time.
Vucinic’s problem is not considered serious, but a recovery time of a few days may be too soon for the striker - whose influence would be sorely missed and wilfully celebrated by Montenegro and England respectively.
And the rate things are going; he might very well miss the tie.
image: © mitsurinho