England vs MontenegroEuro 2020, KO: 19:45 Nov 14, 2019, Wembley
ENGLAND will be presented with the opportunity to rubber-stamp their ticket to Euro 2020 on Thursday night when they welcome Montenegro to Wembley.
Gareth Southgate's side suffered a reality check in Prague last month when they lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic, however, the Three Lions roared back with a 6-0 success in Sofia against Bulgaria in a game that was overshadowed by shameful scenes of racism.
Consequently, England require only one point from their final two fixtures to seal qualification and the English faithful will be expecting all three points against a Montenegro outfit that the Three Lions mauled 5-1 back in March.
Faruk Hadzibegic's side are joint-bottom of Group A after failing to win any of their opening seven qualifiers and a trip to the English capital will represent their toughest test to date.
Only one of the three points that Montenegro have picked up during this campaign have come away from home and that was on matchday one against basement boys Bulgaria and as such the southeast European side could be in for another long night when they lock horns with England in London.
The Bookmakers certainly believe that will be the case with Southgate's young guns huge odds-on at 1/12 (Bet 365) while Montenegro are a massive 35/1 (William Hill) to triumph and share of the spoils is also deemed unlikely at 12/1 (Bet 365)
Montenegro will be hoping that the hosts are feeling the effects of the reported canteen chaos involving Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling earlier on this week that saw the latter exuded from the England squad for this encounter.
However, given the wealth of attacking talent that Southgate has at his disposal, Sterling's absence should not affect England here with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford set to spearhead the hosts attack either side of captain Harry Kane.
Rashford is enjoying a quietly impressive season at Manchester United having scored nine goals in 17 appearances for the Red Devils thus far – the most recent of which came against Brighton last weekend.
What's more, Rashford scored a spectacular goal in his last England appearance when he hit the opener against Bulgaria and I fancy the young English forward to continue his purple patch on Thursday night by making the net bulge against Montenegro at 4/5 (Bet 365)
A case could be made for a number of players to get on the scoresheet at Wembley and although there is no value in backing Harry Kane to score at a general 2/5, I do like the look combing Kane to score, a home win and over 2 England goals at 4/6 (Bet 365) – a combination that would have banked profit in all three of England's Group A home games to date.
Finding value from this fixture will prove to be problematic for punters in what is the type of assignment that England have become particularly efficient in dealing with.
Southgate should steer his fearless young lions to another authoritative home victory and with that in mind I'm going to opt for an alternative angle and back England to win at 8/11 (PaddyPower) with -2 handicap against a Montenegro side who have lost by at least three goals in their four defeats in this section thus far.
Furthermore, England have been red-hot on home soil having fired in 14 goals across three home qualifiers so far and after racking up five goals in the reverse fixture I expect England to collect another comfortable three points in London – a win that would confirm England's place at next Summer's showpiece.
This Euro 2020 match between England and Montenegro will be played on Nov 14, 2019 and kick off at 19:45