England vs Montenegro
Who? England vs Montenegro in Matchday 9 of Group A of Euro 2020 Qualification
Where? Wembley Stadium, London
When? 19:45 GMT, Thursday 14th November 2019 (Live on ITV1)
England will look to secure qualification to Euro 2020 with a positive result as they host strugglers Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on Thursday.
The Three Lions only require one more point from their final two games to seal the expected place in next year’s tournament. England sits top of the group and three points clear of second place. Manager Gareth Southgate will have his final chance to assess players up close and personal this calendar year. Last time out, sections of Bulgaria supporters targeted England players with horrific racial abuse. Those scenes marred a very convincing victory for England, winning 6-0 after several stoppages. England required this result, however, after a shock defeat to the Czech Republic in the previous game where England looked fatigued and out of ideas. There cannot be any complacency however, as pressure would significant increase on Southgate if England do not come through these tests with flying colours.
For Montenegro, they are yet to win in the group and have accumulated just three points in seven games. The Brave Falcons, who only played their first international match in 2007, have lost three of their last four games in the group. They are on the same points and goal difference as Bulgaria at the bottom of Group A. The familiar Montenegrin players such as Stevan Jovetic and Stefan Savic, formerly of Manchester City, have not been called up. This is a bonus, if England wish to class those players missing out a bonus, with the Three Lions having a poor record over this nation in the past. With the small pool of players to select from, the most significant players to play at a high level include midfielder duo Nikola Vukčević of Levante and Marko Janković of SPAL.
England (1/16* to Win): Raheem Sterling will not feature for England. His spat with Joe Gomez in the Liverpool vs Manchester City match on Sunday has boiled over into the England camp. It has forced Gareth Southgate to remove the Manchester City forward for the sake of the harmony of the team. James Maddison has got his call up again and will probably get his first senior cap for the Three Lions. Jadon Sancho also had a weekend to forget, after being taken off in the first half for tactical reasons rather than injury. He will look to bounce back in an England shirt.
Montenegro (28/1* to Win): Unfortunately for Montenegro, Stevan Jovetic is still out injured as he recovers from cruciate ligament damage from April. The Monaco striker, formerly of Manchester City, has not played for his nation since March. Serie A established full back Adam Marusic is also out because of a thigh injury.
England recorded a 5-1 victory over Montenegro last time out in Podgorica. A result that made history as Montenegro’s biggest defeat, despite the hosts taking the lead.
Previous to that however, England have only managed three draws and a win against The Brave Falcons. Qualification for Euro 2012 saw both fixtures end in draws of 0-0 and 2-2. Montenegro managed a 1-1 draw in 2014 World Cup Qualification before England won 4-1 in the reverse fixture.
*odds as of November 12th at 11:59 GMT and subject to change
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