England v Montenegro: Andros Townsend set for shock start at Wembley - with Jack Wilshere on the bench

The Tottenham midfielder has never played for the senior side

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The Independent Football

Widespread reports this afternoon suggest Andros Townsend will start for England against Montenegro tonight in what will be viewed as a risky move by Roy Hodgson.

The Tottenham midfielder has never played for the senior side before, but is expected to line up on the right-hand side of midfield for the World Cup qualifier at Wembley.

Danny Welbeck is expected to start on the left, with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the middle. Daniel Sturridge will partner Wayne Rooney in attack.

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If the reports are true, it means no place in the starting line-up for Jack Wilshere. The Arsenal midfielder has endured a difficult week after admitting to smoking a cigarette and coming in for criticism for his views on who should be eligible to play for the national side.

Hodgson's midfield options were depleted this afternoon with the news that Tom Cleverley had returned to Manchester United with an injury. There are also suggestions James Milner, an alternative option on the right of midfield, is out with a slight calf strain. Michael Carrick is another option available to Hodgson.

Despite some of the big names that will be left out, is the introduction of Townsend that will be the biggest talking point. A strong second-half to last season while on loan at QPR was somewhat overshadowed after he withdrew from the England Under 21 squad for the European Championships at the end of May after breaching betting regulations.

Now back at Tottenham, Townsend has been a regular in the side, despite numerous summer buys at White Hart Lane. He scored in the 5-0 Europa League qualifier against Dinamo Tbilisi and was particularly impressive in the recent match against Chelsea.

Townsend was part of the squad for the recent games against Moldova and Ukraine but did not make an appearance.