England vs Montenegro preview

October 10, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

England vs MontenegroThis will feel like a match point for England, who sit one point clear of Montenegro and Ukraine at the moment, but fail to win and the Three Lions will be in all sorts of problems.

Their opponents, on the other hand, need to take at least one point from this match if they are to keep their qualifying chances alive, so chances are we will see a nervy affair in London.

Having showed a lot of promise under Roy Hodgson at the Euro 2012, where they reached the quarter-finals, England went into the 2014 World Cup qualifiers full of confidence.

However, while recording resounding wins over Moldova and San Marino, the Three Lions could only share spoils with Ukraine and Poland, thus slipping to the second place in the standings.

Despite recording two more draws, at Ukraine and Montenegro, Roy Hodgson’s side climbed to the first place in the standings, making sure they are the masters of their own destiny.

England currently sit one point clear at the top and with home games against Montenegro and Poland next, they are rightly considered the favourites for automatic qualifying berth.

Nevertheless, having failed to win a single match against a top 4 side in this qualifying campaign, odds of 1.36 (4/11) offered on home win at Stan James are not that tempting.

The good news is that Wayne Rooney returns after missing the last two qualifiers and he is 2.38 (11/8) with bet365 to score at anytime.

Ashley Cole misses the clash with a rib problem, but there are no other selection worries for boss Roy Hodgson ahead of the crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-1-1): Hart – Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines – Milner, Lampard, Gerrard, Wilshire – Rooney – Sturridge.

Montenegro are taking part in just their third ever qualifying campaign, but the team have proved they fully deserve to be competing with Europe’s top sides.

The Brave Falcons had been leading the race in Group H from the very start, and they impressed to hold England to a 1-1 draw in Podgorica back in March.

However, it was the shocking 4-0 home defeat to Ukraine that seriously hindered their chances of reaching the tournament finals, although nothing is lost yet.

Montenegro remained in contention for top two places in the group as they played out a 1-1 draw with Poland, but they still need to bring at least one point from England to keep their qualifying hopes alive.

Given the serious selection problems that is easier said than done, but maybe there is some value in backing the Brave Falcons to score at Wembley, at odds of 2.02 (51/50) offered at Unibet.

First team regulars Mirko Vucinic, Marko Basa, Mladen Bozovic and Milorad Pekovic are out injured, whilst Vladimir Bozovic is banned.

Nevertheless, Stevan Jovetic and Miodrag Dzudovic should be fit to play after recovering from their respective injuries.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Poleksic – Pavicevic, Savic, Dzudovic, Volkov – Vukcevic, Drincic, Zverotic, Boskovic – Jovetic, Damjanovic.

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