Friday, October 20, 2017

Prediction: Poland vs Montenegro

Verdict: Poland to win, both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 11/5

Bookmaker: bet365

Poland are on the verge of clinching a 2018 World Cup berth, but they need to avoid a loss in their final game to do so. Robert Lewandowski and company will end the Qualifiers at home, although they will not face an easy opponent since they will host Montenegro at Warsaw’s National Stadium. The Montenegrin side need to win – and hope for a Denmark loss – if they want to reach the UEFA World Cup Qualifying Playoff Round. Kick-off is scheduled at 17:00 BST, and Daniele Orsato will be the referee.

Poland

Poland have been on top form during the current World Cup Qualifiers, and the numbers back that up. Through nine games, the Polish side sit at the top of Group E standings with 22 points, a +12 goal differential, and only one defeat. Their home form has been quite impressive since they have won their four matches while scoring 11 times and conceding just four. And if that was not enough, they also have the top scorer in the UEFA Qualifiers in Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich star has netted an incredible tally of 15 goals in nine matches, and eight of those have come at home. If we add all those things into the mix, it is not surprising that Poland are only one point away from clinching their World Cup berth. Will they be able to do it considering what is at stake and the opponent they will face? The recent track record certainly puts them as favourites.

Team News

Poland should be relatively at full strength ahead of this game. However, Arkadiusz Milik and Artur Jędrzejczyk have been ruled out due to injury.

Maciej Rybus is doubtful, but recent reports have suggested he will start.

Montenegro

Montenegro are not as well positioned as Poland. However, it would be wrong to say their Qualifying campaign has been a disaster. Considering the team lacks an international star aside from Stevan Jovetic, the Montenegrin side have managed to stay afloat and they still have an outside chance to make it to the playoffs. The scenario is quite complicated, though. They need to win against Poland, and hope for a Denmark loss at home against Romania. The main reason why they could pull the upset against Poland is the strength of their performances on the road, as Montenegro have compiled a 2W 1D 1L record away from home during the current qualifying campaign. But can they perform when it matters the most, and knowing the win is the only result they can get to keep themselves alive? At the very least, we can be sure they will make things difficult for the Polish side.

Team News

Montenegro won’t have their two best players in this game, as Stevan Jovetic (injury) and Stefan Savic (suspension) are out. Marko Vesovic (suspension) and Nebojsa Kosovic (injury) are out as well.

Meanwhile, both Mirko Simic and Mirko Ivanic are doubtful and not likely to feature to physical problems.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Robert Lewandowski is the top scorer in the UEFA World Cup Qualifiers with 15 goals in nine matches.
  • Poland have won four of their past five WCQ matches. Meanwhile, Montenegro register a 3W 0D 2L mark over that span.
  • The last time these two sides met back in March this year, Poland escaped with a 2-1 win away from home.
  • Poland have scored at least three goals in three of their four home matches during the current qualifying campaign.
  • Montenegro have compiled a 2W 1D 1L record away from home during the current Qualifiers.

Conclusion

Both sides need to win. Poland are looking to clinch their World Cup berth, while Montenegro have a slim chance to reach the playoffs. The visitors desperately need the three points to do so.

But Poland are in far better form, playing at home, and feature the top scorer in the Qualifiers. Montenegro will put up a fight and will likely score. However, Poland should get the three points and the World Cup berth in front of their fans.

Verdict: Poland to win, both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 11/5

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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