Saturday, December 14, 2019

Prediction: England vs Montenegro

Prediction: Correct Score – England 4-0

Odds: 6/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

England could finally seal their qualification for Euro 2020 as they take on Montenegro in their 1,000th international on Thursday evening.

The Three Lions clash with the European minnows at Wembley Stadium, with just a point enough to book their place at next year’s continental tournament.

England

Whilst they still have the opportunity to qualify this time around, England really should have completed that task during the last international break. Taking on the Czech Republic, the Three Lions fell to defeat in Prague despite taking an early lead. They did bounce back in their next game by defeating Bulgaria 6-0 away from home but still their wait goes on. One aspect that will give them supreme confidence ahead of the match is their form at Wembley Stadium. Gareth Southgate’s troops have not lost a home qualifier in over 12 years, the last defeat coming against Croatia in 2007. Kosovo did get them a significant scare last time out as despite racking up a comprehensive 5-1 lead before half-time, they were pegged back to 5-3 and very easily could have drawn the match. They do still possess the best defence in Group A of qualification, whilst boasting the most prolific attack so it should be very straight forward for the Three Lions against Montenegro – at least on paper.

Team News

There have been plenty of headlines surrounding the England camp ahead of this match. Forward Raheem Sterling is not in contention for the game following a reported bust-up with teammate Joe Gomez. Jadon Sancho could come into the side in his place. Elsewhere, Three Lions’ regulars Kyle Walker,  Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli have been left out, whilst Michael Keane is out. Ross Barkley and Tom Heaton have had to withdraw from the squad through injury.

Montenegro

After seven games in qualification, Faruk Hadžibegić’s men are now playing for pride. They have only managed to collect three points so far having drawn with Bulgaria twice and once with Kosovo. As a matter of fact, they are winless in European qualification matches since a 2-0 success against Moldova back in 2015. As a matter of fact, the team have not managed to claim a clean sheet on their travels in any of their last five matches in all competitions. That trend does not look like reversing any time soon considering the country’s form in the group so far this campaign. Only bottom side Bulgaria have conceded more than Montenegro’s 15 in the group and considering they tackle the top scorers, it seems unlikely that they will be able to keep a shutout this time around. It hasn’t just been their backline that has been underpar but also their attack too. They have only managed to net a paltry three goals in seven games, producing a rate of just 0.43 goals per match.

Team News

Montenegro are without top scorer Stevan Jovetic due to an injury he suffered in April, hence their huge struggles in front of goal. Defender Adam Marusic has also had to withdraw due to a thigh strain.

Key Facts To Consider

  • In five games, England are undefeated against Bulgaria (W2, D3)
  • The Three Lions won the last game between the two sides 5-1
  • Montenegro have only ever managed to keep one clean sheet against the Three Lions
  • An average of 3.4 goals has been scored per game between these two sides
  • Both sides have scored in four out of five matches between the two

Conclusion

Considering the attention surrounding England’s 1,00th international match, it should be fitting that they secure qualification in this particular fixture and that should be exactly what happens. The quality between the two teams is vast and that should be telling at Wembley Stadium. It should be an easy three points for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions on Thursday.

Prediction: Correct Score – England 4-0

Odds: 6/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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