England will want to solidify their qualification for the European Championships next year with another brilliant showing against Montenegro when they face off in this Group A game in what will be the hosts 1000th senior men’s international game.
European Championship 2020 qualifier
Date : Thursday, 14th November 2019
Kick-off : 20:45 PM UK time.
TV channel : Sky Sports Main Event
The international break takes centre stage in Wembley on Thursday when the Three Lions, currently ranked No. 4th by FIFA welcome their Balkan opponents who lie 57 places below on the rankings. Gareth Southgate’s team have won all of their last four games at this venue, and also each of the last six home fixtures, and will certainly want to ram home that advantage.
Much of the pre-match talks have centered on the training ground bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez at St George’s park, culminating in the former being excused from this one.
Not that he will be sorely missed against a team that have managed just three points and zero win(s) from their seven group games so far, and are conceding an average of two goals per game, so the availability of the likes of Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford both of who scored in the big win last time out in Sofia makes it less a headache for Southgate.
While a win or even a draw will be enough for the hosts to book a place in the tournament with a game (versus Kosovo) to spare, Montenegro stand no chance of making it through and will only be playing for pride. England are three points clear of the Czech Republic in second and four ahead of Kosovo, and only the top two nations will advance.
Aside the exclusion of the Manchester City man and Jordan Henderson who is suspended, Southgate might name an unchanged lineup for the side that thrashed Bulgaria while opposition manager Faruq Hadžibegić have some enforced changes to make to the side that lost to Kosovo on the road last time out.
Southgate has confirmed that Sterling will play no part on Thursday while Henderson is suspended for accumulation of yellow cards.
Ross Barkley and Tom Heaton are also no longer available for selection after the duo pulled out of the squad with injury worries.
Adam Marusic and Aleksandar Šćekic both of who featured versus Kosovo in their last game have withdrawn from the squad to face England.
Hadžibegić is left with a largely inexperienced team and it remains to be seen how they fare on Thursday.
Head to head
Montenegro have yet to win any of the last five games they had faced England, and were on the receiving end of a 5-1 thrashing when they met in March.
That was the Three Lions second win over them, with the other three ending in draws.
England have been a dominant force in the course of their qualifiers, winning five of their six games and scoring an incredible 26 goals.
England last five matches WWWLW
Montenegro have won just once on away soil since October 2017, losing three of their last four on the road.
Montenegro last five matches LWLDL
It is hard trying to find value from this game, with the bookmakers almost certain an England victory will suffice, and at a price of 1/12 is very low.
But you might find better value on the goalscorer market when one consider that Jadon Sancho who is expected to replace Sterling in the starting XI will surely prove a handful for the opposition.
At 13/10 to score at anytime, it has a better appeal.