England v Montenegro Betting Preview 14/11/2019
For the first time in his tenure as England manager, Gareth Southgate is coming in for some criticism. He was widely credited for a radical improvement in the relationship between England and their fans (as well as for a spike in the sale of waistcoats) but it’s not been plain sailing for Southgate over the last few months.
First, England were way off the pace in the finals of the UEFA Nations League before looking very flat in the surprise loss to the Czech Republic in Euro 20202 Qualifying. England’s hopes of making it to next season’s Euros were hardly dented by that defeat – they will confirm their qualification with victory over Montenegro on Thursday night – but it is clear they must improve to have any chance of winning a first major tournament since 1966.
Defence the Main Concern for England
Southgate strikes you as a man with a plan. He will be very keen to get qualification done and dusted on Thursday so that he can start working on plans for the Euro 2020 in earnest.
Top of his priority list must be sorting out England’s defence. Few, if any, of the places in England’s back-four are set in stone whilst some high profile mistakes have raised doubts about Jordan Pickford’s suitability to be England goalkeeper.
Most England fans remain hopeful that Southgate is well-placed to tighten England’s defence up. After all, he was an international centre-back. The nature of the goals England conceded against the Czech Republic makes worries about their defence understandable though, especially given the quality of the sides England will have to beat in order to be successful in the Euros.
Fortunately, Montenegro are nowhere near the quality of the best international teams in Europe. They’ve failed to win any of their seven previous qualifying matches and are sure to end an unsuccessful qualifying campaign with defeat at Wembley Stadium.
The bookies have England as the firmest of favourites for very good reason. We are expecting those inside Wembley to celebrate England’s 1000th match to have plenty to celebrate so recommend backing the home side to win with a -2 handicap applied at 4/6 with Coral.
How Risky Will Southgate Be?
There weren’t too many surprises in Southgate’s squad for the matches against Montenegro and Kosovo. The absence of Jack Grealish caused some consternation but was in keeping with a relatively risk-averse manager who wants to focus on the job at hand before turning his attentions to the future.
Southgate has many high-quality younger players in his squad who could do with earning international experience before Euro 2020. Tammy Abraham is one such player but the in-form Chelsea striker is unlikely to get a starting berth on Thursday night.
Harry Kane is the England captain and their most potent attacking threat despite seeing his form slump with Tottenham. Kane will likely get the chance to play his way back into form against Montenegro and may well be worth backing to score two or more goals at 9/5 with Ladbrokes.
Those who fancy Abraham to come off the bench and make an impact should consider the odds of 3/1 that bet365 are quoting on him scoring the game’s last goal.
England -2 Goals at 4/6 with Coral
Harry Kane to Score 2+ Goals at 9/5 with Ladbrokes
Tammy Abraham to Score Last at 3/1 with bet365
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