Getting to know the opposition: Montenegro
Published : 11 Oct 2010 12:31:21
As England prepare to return to Euro 2012 qualifying against Group G frontrunners Montenegro, Football.co.uk provides the inside track on the opposition.
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Montenegro joined UEFA and FIFA as an autonomous footballing nation in 2007 - and duly won their inaugural game 2-1 in a friendly against Hungary.
Their first taste of competitive action followed in World Cup 2010 qualifying, where they collected nine points in Group 8 and finished second last in a pool that included Italy and Republic of Ireland.
A 2-1 home win against Georgia gave them their first competitive victory as a footballing nation.
Zlatko Kranjcar spent the majority of his playing career as a striker at Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Vienna, making 11 international appearances for Yugoslavia and a couple for Croatia.
His managerial career began in 1991 and has taken in too many clubs to mention. In 2004 he took over the Croatian national side and led them through qualifying to the 2006 World Cup finals - where they failed to emerge from the group stages.
Most recently he spent eight games in charge of Iranian side Persepolis, where he was surprisingly sacked in the wake of his first defeat in charge.
Three straight 1-0 wins have put Montenegro top of Group G on nine points.
Wales, Bulgaria and Switzerland have all been dispatched, and it looks as though their showdown with England will decide the group winners.
One to Watch
Roma striker Mirko Vucinic has scored 11 times in 21 games for Montenegro, including the winners against Wales and Switzerland.
Vucinic has pace, quick feet and an eye for goal, and will be a genuine threat at Wembley.