Montenegro and Denmark head into the crucial World Cup qualifier level on points and with an identical goal difference. With only the head-to-head advantage separating them, both sides will be extremely keen to record a positive result and make an important step towards with the Group E’s first place still within reach.
Montenegro looking to write history
History could be made in Montenegro with this country still in the running for their first major tournament as an independent nation. Captain Stevan Jovetic gave Montenegrins a lifeline 1-0 home win over Romania earlier in September and will be once again expected to lead his team forward in a crucial qualifier against Denmark. Montenegro won their last three matches and will be eager to keep the fine form going. The forthcoming home game on Thursday will be Montenegro’s chance for a morale-boosting victory that could be of great value ahead of the trip to leaders Poland three days later. Things are complicated in Group E and they will go down the wire with three sides locked in battle for a direct promotion spot. The Falcons began their preparation for the Denmark game on Monday with eight players taking part in the first training session. A flu is troubling the home selection and even the head coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic was forced to miss the opening session.
Montenegro will be without injured midfielder Nebojsa Kosovic, whereas Dynamo Moscow striker Fatos Beciraj is suspended for the occasion. Midfielder Aleksandar Scekic returns to the fold after an injury which ruled him out of the last two matches.
Denmark showing signs of improvement
Age Hareide’s men had a rather slow start to the World Cup qualifying campaign. The minimal 1-0 home win over Armenia was followed by successive defeats to Poland and Montenegro which knocked the air out of Denmark’s wings for a moment. Still, the Danes got back into the rhythm with a 4-1 win over Kazakhstan which saw them embark on a five-match unbeaten run in the World Cup qualifiers. The 4-0 win over group leaders Poland came as a precious morale boost for Hareide’s men who are currently showing great signs of improvement. Age Hareide introduced a couple of tactical changes which saw his team transform into a well-organised and attack-oriented unit. Danes have put in a string of disciplined and aggressive displays and are not expected to travel to Montenegro carrying a white flag. Knowing that they have as good of a shot at making it to Russia as the next country in their group, Danes will fight until the last moment. It’s been a while since Denmark made a notable result at the international stage and this could be the best opportunity this generation will get to show its worth.
RB Leipzig star Yusuf Poulsen returns as a major selection boost after an injury. Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen is injured for the occasion and he remains the only unavailable player for the visiting side.
Both Montenegro and Denmark appear to be in fine form ahead of the crucial encounter. Having won all of their last three matches, the two sides will be motivated enough to give their best and we should definitely be in for a treat in Podgorica. The home pitch will provide hosts with a valuable boost but self-disciplined Danes are not expected to budge under pressure that easily.
Top pick: Both teams to score – yes (10/11) 1.91 @WilliamHill
Alternative pick 1: Denmark 2.20 (6/5) @StanJames
Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals 2.10 (11/10) @PaddyPower