Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Prediction: Montenegro vs Denmark

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: William Hill

Both Montenegro and Denmark have recovered from a slow start to the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and now go head to head in the battle for a play-off berth, while hoping they can also catch first placed Poland, who sit three points clear at the Group E summit.

Montenegro

The Montenegro national team have shown a great deal of promise since the country gained independence from Serbia in 2006, but they have yet to take part at a major international competition. New coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic faced some problems in warm-up matches for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, but his side fared pretty well in competitive fixtures, although back to back defeats to Armenia and Poland midway through the campaign threatened to ruin their qualifying hopes. The Falcons then showed a great deal of improvement to record successive wins over Armenia, Kazakhstan and Romania, climbing to second place in the overall standings. Montenegro now have a chance to all but secure a play-off berth by defeating Denmark at home, before facing leaders Poland on the road. This basically means that the Falcons would almost certainly finish as group winners if they triumph in their final two fixtures, but that is not going to be easy. Ljubisa Tumbakovic’s men are brimming with confidence at the moment, and the boss has no major selection problems.

Team News

FK Partizan midfielder Nebojsa Kosovic misses out through injury, whereas Dynamo Moscow striker Fatos Beciraj is a slight doubt.

Denmark

Denmark failed to make it to the Euro 2016 as they were beaten by rivals Sweden in the play-offs, and they had a pretty disappointing start to the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. Following the opening win over Armenia, Age Hareide’s men were beaten by both Poland and Montenegro, although those defeats proved a blessing in disguise. Namely, the two setbacks forced the head coach to switch from 5-3-2 to 4-3-3 formation, and the team have looked a lot better since. Four wins and a draw in the next five games in next five games nominated Denmark as serious contenders for top two places in the group, with impressive 4-0 triumph over leaders Poland the highlight of their campaign. Having scored 15 goals in last 5 qualifiers, the Danes have plenty of reason for optimism ahead of the trip to Podgorica, especially with key men Christian Eriksen and Thomas Delaney as well as striker Nicklas Bendtner in pretty good form. It is also important to note that Denmark scored no fewer than 9 goals in last four qualifiers on the road.

Team News

Daniel Wass, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Martin Braithwaite are some of the notable players missing out, whereas Nicolai Jorgensen is out injured. Andres Bjelland should be fit to play.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Montenegro won the reverse fixture 1-0
  • Denmark recorded a 2-1 win in their only friendly meeting in 2015
  • Montenegro won last three qualifiers, conceding just once
  • Stevan Jovetic has 7 goals in as many 2018 World Cup qualifiers
  • Denmark scored 15 goals in last 5 qualifiers

Conclusion

Even though there will be a lot at stake when the two sides meet in Podgorica, we expect to see an entertaining affair due to teams’ attack-minded gameplans. Both sides have been scoring goals for fun of late and we believe the trend will continue.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nemanja Lazarevic


Working as editor-in-chief at Soccernews.com, Nemanja Lazarevic is responsible for organising and managing the team of writers to ensure the content produced on the site meets high industry standards and remains interesting to our readers. As our go-to guy for the football transfer news, he uses an extensive experience in the industry to dig up latest transfer stories from local sources.

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