Five wins and two draws have taken England to the verge of qualification for the Euro 2012 finals, although their toughest assignment of Group G has potentially been saved until last.
A year ago, the Three Lions were hot favourites to beat Montenegro at Wembley although ninety frustrating minutes later and the game had finished goalless, with the visitors proving this was no fluke by accruing 11 points from six games.
It means that they can mathematically still catch Fabio Capello’s team and win the group, with bet365 (£200 free bets) offering 9/2 that Zlatko Kranj?ar’s side claim the three points at Stadion Podgorica which will give them a better head-to-head record.
Victory for the home side would mean that a win in Switzerland next Tuesday would see Montenegro qualify for the Euro 2012 finals and England would be left to contend a play-off, although the Three Lions’ away performances during this campaign suggest that is unlikely to happen.
Eight goals have been scored in matches away to Switzerland, Wales and Bulgaria, something which has enabled the English to lead by six points and they are no better than 8/11 (Ladbrokes – £50 free betting) to complete this 100% record on the road by winning on Friday.
Capello claims that his team are going to go for victory despite only needing a point, with the draw on offer at 5/2 (bet365) and it might be the case that the visitors take their foot off the gas in the last ten minutes if the scoreline is level and they are within touching distance of Ukraine and Poland.
No England players are struggling with injuries at the moment, with Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck expected to be partnered together as they were for Manchester United against Norwich last weekend. It will be interesting to see whether Capello finds room for Frank Lampard within the team.
Based on the fact that just eight goals have been scored in Montenegro’s six matches so far in Group G, the sensible bet would appear to be Under 2.5 Goals at 8/11 (Victor Chandler) especially as both teams will look to protect their advantage should they go into the lead.
The key focus for England will be keeping things tight in the early exchanges before turning the screw on their opponents and Draw HT England FT makes appeal at odds of roughly 10/3.