Football Expert & Columnist
Jamie Redknapp would play Andros Townsend against Montenegro
Jamie Redknapp selects his England XI to take on Montenegro - and there are a few surprises in there.
Last Updated: 10/10/13 11:33am
England take on Montenegro on Friday night in a crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Victory would put the Three Lions in a great position to reach the Brazil showpiece, while anything less than three points could raise the prospect of a place in the play-offs... or worse.
With the stakes riding high, there has been plenty of speculation about which XI boss Roy Hodgson should go with against the side currently third, one point behind England, in Group H.
Above is the line-up Sky Sports expert Jamie Redknapp would pick - and below is his explanation for his selections and how he sees his side playing.
Goalkeeper - Joe Hart
Joe Hart is still our best goalkeeper. He's had troubles but he'll come through this - and I don't think it's time to throw in a goalkeeper who has never played in a qualifier before. If you had two number ones vying for a place, each with lots of experience, then fine, but there's not a ready-made replacement at the moment. I think Fraser Forster is a great goalkeeper - one of the best in Britain - but it's not the right time to be trying him out.
Defence - Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines
I'm not Kyle Walker's biggest fan. Going forward he's fantastic but defending is sometimes an after-thought for him. If Glen Johnson was fit he'd definitely be my right back but because of injuries Walker has to play. I just hope he remembers he has to do his defensive duties as well. He sometimes forgets that, thinking he's a winger.
After their performances against Ukraine and the clean sheet there, Cahill and Jagielka keep their place. At the moment they're our best partnership and we need those two to play well. They're both good, solid players - although the only problem is Jose Mourinho is playing John Terry and David Luiz for Chelsea instead of Cahill. But I can't see Hodgson going with anyone else.
If he was fit I'd go for Ashley Cole but Leighton Baines is the obvious replacement. He's a brilliant left-back and also fantastic at set-pieces. He's been unlucky really because he'd have a load more caps if it wasn't for Cole. But we won't have any problems with him starting on Friday night.
Midfield - Andros Townsend, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck
I'm going with Steven Gerrard sitting in front of the back four with Frank Lampard, and Wayne Rooney as one of the three, just in behind Sturridge, while I'd go with Andros Townsend wide right and Danny Welbeck on the left.
I was very critical of Manuel Pellegrini against Bayern Munich for not playing three in midfield, so that's what I'm going for.
Gerrard has been playing that defensive midfield role well for Liverpool this season while Lampard always gets you a goal - and we need to win this game.
It's important if Rooney plays behind Sturridge he plays as a number 10 and, when we haven't got the ball, as an extra midfield player, which he's more than capable of doing and has done lots of times for United.
Lampard to score in 90 minutes against Montenegro. Bet now
I'd say to Rooney, when we haven't got the ball, 'you come and mark their defensive midfield player and help out Lampard and Gerrard. When we get it you join Sturridge in attack'. He's shown for United how disciplined he can be and he's key to this formation.
This team has great pace in wide areas, too.
We've got to win this game and Townsend deserves to play. He's a real throwback; every time he gets the ball he runs at people, he's very strong and he'll help out Kyle Walker. Those two have been playing together of late and I'm a big fan of relationships between players who know each other's games. We saw Adnan Januzaj play with no fear for Manchester United on Saturday and Townsend would do the same.
Then, on the other side, you've got Welbeck. He's a hard worker, he's got pace and he scores more goals for England than he does for Manchester United. If Theo Walcott was fit I'd go for him but Welbeck is a threat from set pieces, too. I'm sure Hodgson will play James Milner because he's his type of player - but I'll go for Welbeck and Townsend out wide.
Striker - Daniel Sturridge
I'd have Daniel Sturridge up top. He has been in great form for Liverpool, really showing what he can do and hopefully he can repeat that form for England on Friday.
What do you think of Jamie Redknapp's England XI? And what would be your line-up? Let us know below...